Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, has blamed his reported interest in the 2015 presidential poll on “speculation” rather than a declared intention.
He also claimed that the assumed rift between him and President Goodluck Jonathan might have come from the insistence by the House that it must play its constitutional roles.
The Speaker’s Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Imam Imam, made the clarification on Monday when he spoke with The PUNCH in Abuja on Monday.
According to Imam, the Speaker is amazed by the speculation about his plan to contest the presidential poll.
Imam said, “Our view is that 98 to 99 per cent of the things being said about the Speaker concerning 2015 presidential elections are based on speculation; they are a creation of rumours.
“Tambuwal has a four-year-mandate as a member of the House. He is just reaching the two-year midterm.
“These talks about 2015 constitute a distraction and like all politicians, he wants to be held accountable for the promises he made for the mandate he holds now.”
However, when our correspondent asked the Special Adviser whether Tambuwal would consider taking a shot at the presidency, he replied, “There is a timetable for everything. When we get to the river, we shall cross it.”
Meanwhile, the Office of the Speaker also denied that there was a frosty relationship between Jonathan and Tambuwal, describing the two politicians as having “cordial relationship”.
It, however, explained that what was interpreted as a rift between Tambuwal and Jonathan was the insistence by the House to play its constitutional duties as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.
Imam said, “This was what happened during the issues with the 2013 budget when the House insisted that the budget should be implemented the way it was passed by the National Assembly.
“The House raised the issue of the power of appropriation and so on. The Speaker stands for the House on such matters.
“There is nothing personal between Mr. President and Jonathan other than when the House insists on playing its constitutional roles.”
But, investigations by our correspondent showed that Tambuwal had reportedly adopted what his associates called “silence tactics” in responding to questions on 2015 poll.