There is serious division among senators of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over plans by the party’s national leadership to alter the already agreed names of minority leaders in the 9th Senate, Daily Trust has learnt.
The party’s national leadership had a fortnight ago picked Eyinnaya Abaribe (Abia) as Minority Leader; Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba) as Deputy Minority Leader; Philip Aduda (FCT) as Minority Whip, and Clifford Ordia (Edo) as Deputy Minority Whip.
However, the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) on Tuesday was said to have perfected plans to replace Ordia with Sen Sahabi Ya’u from Zamfara State as Deputy Minority Whip.
This development, Daily Trust learnt, was not going down well with some senators of the party, who vowed to resist any attempt by the NWC to change what was already agreed on. Some PDP senators from the South South, which produced the highest number of senators for the party, were disenchanted by the moves to replace one of them in the minority leadership of the 9th Senate. They said, the region produced the highest number of votes for PDP during the last general elections and that it should not be left out in the scheme of things in the 9th Senate.
One of the senators said they met at the residence of Uche Secondus, the PDP national chairman, on June 14 and conducted an election among themselves where the four senators emerged as minority leaders of the Senate and wondered why the NWC was “planning to impose somebody on us.” The senator, who did not want to be named, said there was an apparent pressure from some quarters on the NWC, and called on the party’s leadership to remain firm and not yield to any undue pressure.
In order to take a decision, it was learnt, the PDP senators will meet before next Tuesday, which is the resumption date for the members of the 9th Assembly, after they embarked on a short recess. “We met where an election was conducted. Nominations were made in the presence of party leaders and PDP senators and winners emerged. Those who emerged were unanimously backed by the various organs of the party. “In any case, under the rules of the Senate, it is not the responsibility of the NWC to select principal officials.
It is the responsibility of the senators themselves to do that. The minority senators have freely elected those they want and nothing will change it. “The argument that they want to represent every part of the country is false. There are eight positions open to the PDP in the two chambers of the National Assembly. Even if you share one to each geopolitical zone, two will still get an extra slot.
“Those we selected are known to us. They are the people we can work with. Some governors causing this division don’t know how the Parliament operates. They want to control everything in the party for their selfish interest. “Maybe the NWC has not learnt its lessons. The APC tried this imposition in the 8th Senate and they paid for it dearly. It’s up to the PDP to allow us have our way or allow strangers destroy its fold in the Senate,” the senator said.