- Some APC senators-elect have alleged that the PDP is perfecting plans to hijack the National Assembly leadership ahead of the inauguration of the 9th session in June
- Speaking on condition of anonymity, some APC senators-elect said the PDP was engaging some people to buy-in on the need to continue the use of the forged 2015 Rule Book
- The APC has said all its members will be present during this year’s inauguration and shall not allow what happened in 2015 to repeat itself
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is reportedly plotting a secret ballot voting system to hijack the leadership of the 9th National Assembly, according to some All Progressives Congress (APC) senators-elect.
The Nation reports that the APC senators-elect, who pleaded anonymity, claimed the opposition is ready to infiltrate National Assembly bureaucracy to perfect their plan
An APC senator-elect accused the PDP of “already laying political landmines in the path of APC” with a view to having the legislative gavel by proxy.
The source said: “While the opposition party cannot reinvent the wheel in terms of the colouration of the legislature during the 9th session of National Assembly, it is trying to foist on the winning party, the Senate in particular, APC candidates that would do its bidding, using the Rule Book of National Assembly to achieve it.
“In implementing the plan, members of the opposition, with a large war chest made available by those being investigated by anti-corruption agencies, are ready to infiltrate National Assembly bureaucracy to perfect their plan.”
A ranking APC senator disclosed that the PDP will begin the implementation of its two-pronged plan which involves engaging the top echelon of National Assembly bureaucracy and some APC senators-elect to buy-in on the need to continue the use of the forged 2015 Rule Book, especially its secret ballot provision. Recall that this was what paved the way for Bukola Saraki to become Senate president in 2015.
According to the senator, what happened in 2015 will not repeat itself because all members of the ruling party will be present during this year’s inauguration and shall not allow the forged Rule Book to be used.
Another senator-elect explained: “We underrated the capacity of PDP to go to any length to achieve its aims and objectives during 2015 elections of presiding officers of the National Assembly while we were totally naïve about the crucial role of the bureaucracy in the scheme of things in the legislature, a situation that turned the table in favour of the opposition despite being in the minority. We are aware of their political manoeuvres and ready to expose sources of funds for their National Assembly intervention.”
Meanwhile, there is disquiet in the PDP it as interest groups root for different candidates as the next minority leader of the forthcoming 9th session of the Senate.
Three candidates are already in contention for the position. They are the current deputy Senate president Ike Ekweremadu, Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West) and Senator Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central).
Sources told The Nation that while the party leadership appears to be heavily in favour of Ekweremadu emerging as minority leader in view of his vast experience, some other groups in the party have different ideas on who should occupy the position.
A party chieftain from the southeast said the PDP plans to give the ruling APC serious opposition in the next dispensation and believes Ekweremadu has the ability to keep the ruling party on its toes.
“To this end, we have considered that the current leadership of our party in the Senate, as represented by the highest ranking senator there, Senator Ekweremadu, be retained in the 9th assembly. We are sure that if he remains the leader of the PDP senators, the APC will be kept on its toes until we take over the assembly,” the party chieftain said.
However, PDP stakeholders in the Southwest and the north central are projecting other senators for the position. Some interest groups in the southwest recently cautioned the PDP leadership against taking the position of minority leader away from the zone.
It was learnt that some PDP stakeholders from the north central recently met leaders of the party in the zone and expressed their desire to have Senator Dino Melaye supported for the position.
Senator Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo central) who was first elected in 2011, but lost his re-election bid in 2015 is returning for a second term. According to sources, he is the candidate of many Southwest PDP leaders and chieftains for the position of Senate minority leader.
When the 9th assembly is convened, the southeast PDP will have at least 11 senators, while the south south PDP will have about 15 senators. Party sources said the majority of the senators from the two zones may support the party’s choice.
The southwest boasts of only three PDP senators-elect, while the north central will have about five senators in the next dispensation. Melaye will be the only ranking senator from the zone in the 9th assembly. This perhaps informed the choice of Melaye as the candidate of some major stakeholders in the zone.
Meanwhile, Dr. Umar Duhu earlier stated that all the contestants for the Senate presidency seat are qualified for the position.
Legit.ng reports that the pioneer national vice chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the northeast expressed reservations with the way and manner the APC leadership is treating some of its members, stressing that there is no way the party can take hold of its members when it did not play a greater role in ensuring their election.
Duhu said Senators Ali Ndume and Ahmad Lawan are from the same bloc of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and are both qualified to occupy the seat.
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