A mild drama ensued in Kaduna on Monday after soldiers stopped the motorcade of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, and searched his official car.
Findings showed that Tambuwal, who was in the flagged car on his way to the venue of an international conference on security, was asked to wind down his window glass to the surprise of other VIPs, who drove past the same route.
This made the security details attached to Tambuwal to protest but the soldiers stood their ground. Some of the soldiers were said to have insisted that they were acting on “orders from above.”
Angered by the development, Tambuwal came out of the car and trekked to the venue, a few metres away.
The incident occurred at the entrance to Hotel 17, Kaduna, venue of an International Conference on Security and Development Challenges of Pastoralism in West and Central Africa, organised by the office of the National Security Adviser.
The theme of the conference was: “The Role of Pastoralists in Preventing Insurgency and Conflicts for Sustainable Peace and National Security.”
Tambuwal, who arrived at the venue of the conference at exactly 9.16am for the 10 am opening ceremony, had his convoy stopped by soldiers who insisted they must search his official car before he could be allowed in.
While Tambuwal’s car was searched, other VIPs, including governors, who attended the conference were allowed into the hotel without hindrance.
A source, who witnessed the drama, said, “The convoy was driving to Hotel 17, the venue of the conference. The soldiers sighted the speaker’s convey and picked out his car, insisting that it must be searched.
“They asked him to wind down his window glass. The speaker was shocked that even after recognising him, the soldiers still said they wanted to search his official car.”
A furious Tambuwal reportedly stormed out of his car and opted to trek to the venue.
His Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Imam Imam, confirmed the incident when contacted him on Monday.
Imam said since the event was scheduled to start at 10am, his boss arrived at 9.16am only to “face embarrassment in the hands of the soldiers.”
He noted that of much concern was why it was only Tambuwal’s car that was picked for the search among the many VIPs, including governors, who came for the event.
When asked whether Tambuwal would know why his car was stopped for the search, Imam replied that the question should be directed at the soldiers.
He said, “Go and ask the soldiers let them tell you their reasons. It is not the speaker that will give that answer.
“What they are doing is undermining the legislature as a whole. It is not about the speaker but the institution.
“We are just urging them (security) to be mindful of the fact that the institution must be protected at all times. The constitution provides that the integrity and sanctity of both the Legislature and the Executive must be protected at all times. If it cannot be protected, then it is unfortunate.”
It was gathered that Tambuwal later delivered his speech at the event and left for Ibadan in Oyo State .