24 February 2014

Nigeria: Tambuwal Visits Obasanjo, Faults Suspension

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, yesterday held a closed-door meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Tambuwal, who arrived the ex-president's hilltop residence in Abeokuta at about 10:35am, reaffirmed his membership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In a convoy of five vehicles, the Speaker was accompanied by three federal lawmakers, including the House Deputy Minority Leader, Sumaila Kawu, Aminu Shagari and Ajibola Muraina.

They went straight into a closed-door session, which lasted about one hour.

But Tambuwal, while speaking with reporters at the end of his consultation with Obasanjo, stated that he consulted Obasanjo on "matters of national interest."

He said: "Baba Obasanjo is a leader not only in Nigeria but in Africa, and it is only appropriate for us in positions of authority and leadership to occasionally come and consult Baba on matters of national interest. And that's what we are here for.

"There are lots of issues in Nigeria today. Of course, there is issue of PIB that we are considering in the House, we are doing constitution amendment in the House and a host of other very key and important legislations that are before the parliament. So, we needed to consult our leaders on such very important and vital legislations before we conclude what we are doing on them.

"I've mentioned constitution amendment, I mentioned the PIB, the Electoral Act is likely to be amended. So, from his wealth of experience, we needed some inputs from him."

Asked to clear the air on his relationship with the opposition All Progessives Congress (APC), Tambuwal submitted that he and Obasanjo were still in the PDP.

"I am just visiting our national leader of the PDP. Myself and Baba are in PDP," he added.

On last week's controversial suspension of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Speaker expressed concern and averred that the development was capable of sending wrong signals to foreign investors.

He said, "Whether it (suspension) is lawful, legal or illegal, the personality involved has told everybody that he is going to court and I believe he is already in court on that suspension."

"On the implications on the economy, I am not an economist but I personally feel that that will definitely send wrong signals to investors because they need to have confidence in the financial institutions, particularly the independence of financial institutions of the country before foreign investors may consider such a country worthy of investment. So, I have my concern about that."

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