Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal on Saturday, 30 August, 2014, advised President Goodluck Jonathan not to over-militarize the upcoming 2015 general election in the country.
Tambuwal, who made his indignation of the undue use of military operatives during election known in Benin while speaking at the residence of the deputy governor of Edo state, Dr. Pius Odubu, described the president’s action as “undemocratic”.
He added that the states must not be over-militarized during elections in order not to discourage people from voting.
The speaker advised that heavy military presence should rather be deployed at the front line in Northeast states like Adamawa, Borno and Yobe where men of the dreaded Boko Haram have continued to reign supreme.
“I have made my position known at the NBA conference about a week ago. And I said that it is not the best of fashion in a democracy that you militarize a process to the extent that voters get intimidated and scared and they rather withdraw and remain indoors,” he said, just as he urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to ensure the conduct of a free and fair election.
“And as for Nigerians, they want free fair and credible elections in 2015. Yes, in as much as we need security during elections, we don’t need overdose of it. Where we need heavy presence of military men is in the front line states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. So we should focus more on that, than state where we are conducting civic responsibilities like elections,” he said.
It would be recalled that over 73, 000 security operatives were deployed to Osun state during the 9 August governorship election, attracting widespread condemnation.
The Speaker however urged all Nigerians to give the needed support and prayer to the Federal Government in its effort to curb insurgency in the North East.
“At the National Assembly, we have given them all the necessary support so far. We have given them resources, we have given them money, we have given them the legal frame work that they require. We implore Nigerians not to lose hope, not to lose sleep in the fight against insurgency. It is not an easy task and we should support the government to ensure that we address this problem squarely.”
Reacting to speculations of his imminent defection to the APC, Tambuwal said, “When I went to collect my voter’s card, I said I was consulting and I am still consulting. Nigeria is not a small country, we have very, very senior leaders that one need to meet with before taking such decisions. As I said, I am consulting and at the appropriate time, I will come out to say what I will be doing in 2015.
”INEC regulations are very clear. The electoral act does not allow people to come out and begin to campaign at a particular period. So I don’t think it is late, what is important is that for those who are aspiring to offices to prepare themselves for those offices. And this is not something that you do over night.”
P.M NEWS reports that Tambuwal was in Benin for the wedding ceremony of the son of the Benin Monarch, Oba Erediauwa, Prince Ehioze Erediauwa.
Aminu Waziri Tambuwal is a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) member and represents the Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency of Sokoto State.
He was born on 10 January, 1966 in Tambuwal Village in Sokoto State to Waziri Tambuwal.
The speaker attended Tambuwal Primary School, Tambuwal, Sokoto State, where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1979; and Government Teachers’ College, Dogon-Daji, where he obtained the Teachers Grade 11 Certificate in 1984.
He then proceeded to Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, where he studied Law, graduating with an LLB (Hons) degree in 1991 and was called to the Bar in 1992.
Tambuwal started learning the legislative ropes from 1999 to 2000, while working as Personal Assistant on Legislative Affairs to Senator Abdullahi Wali, the then Senate Leader.
In 2003, he decided to run for a legislative seat as representative of the Kebbi/Tambuwal Federal Constituency. He was elected into the House of Representatives on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).
Few months to the 2007 general elections, he defected to the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), alongside the former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa. But when the DPP denied return tickets to former ANPP legislators, Tambuwal swung back to the ANPP, where he eventually succeeded in picking up a ticket for the election.
But then again, when the ANPP governorship candidate for Sokoto State in the 2007 election, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko dumped the party for the PDP, Tambuwal also followed suit.
Tambuwal has held several offices in the House. In 2005, he became the Minority Leader of the House until he defected to the PDP. Upon his re-election to the House in 2007, he was also elected the Deputy Chief Whip.
He was leader of the Nigerian delegation to African,Caribbean, Pacific & European Union Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU) and served as Vice-Chairman, Economic Committee ACP-EU, held in Prague,Czech Republic in April 2009.