With the clock ticking and the minutes counting down to the all-important decider on who takes the position to steer the affairs of the 9th NASS, all indications point to the fact that Nigeria’s foremost opposition party, The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is waiting to deal what might eventually be an interesting joker to the ruling All Progressives Congress.
According to reports, the leadership of the PDP and lawmakers elected on the party’s platform will meet on Monday (today) to take a final decision on whom to support among the contenders for the leadership of the Senate.
According to the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Diran Odeyemi, the PDP was planning to make it a “last-minute affair.”
The National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus says the main opposition party has refused to speak on whom the party is leaning towards to throw its weight behind for the leadership of the Senate.
Instead, he says that the party “will not disappoint Nigerians and we will have their interest at heart when we decide on what to do” on the matter.
He said the PDP “is aware that Nigerians are looking towards us for direction and leadership because it will be wrong to have a docile National Assembly. We will not disappoint them in that regards.”
Meanwhile, an Igbo group, according to Punch Newspapers, the Umuigbo Progressive Network, has urged lawmakers-elect from the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones to vote Lawan and the ex-governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu as Senate President and Deputy Senate President, respectively.
It also solicited support for Femi Gbajabiamila as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The National Coordinator of the group, Oscar Obi, said the trio had an exceptional disposition to lead a rancour-free National Assembly.
He said the call to elect the three had become necessary to prevent initial and avoidable mistakes that could generate rancour in the 9th National Assembly.
Speaking at a press conference in Awka, Anambra State, Obi said the right persons should lead the 9th Senate for optimal performance.
He added, “We believe Lawan and Kalu are the right persons to lead the Red Chamber. They both have shown capacity and political expertise to a more vibrant democracy and unified Nigeria.
“Nigerians should not also forget that President Muhammadu Buhari has a great relationship with the two. With this, we rest assured of a smooth relationship between both arms of government to promote good governance and implement policies that would have a direct impact on the lives of the electorate and alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians.
“We cannot think of no one better suited to be the speaker at this critical moment in history than Femi Gbajabiamila. Through his motions and bills, he has been an unquestionable champion of Nigerians’ interest.
“Already, 178 members-elect have declared their support for Gbajabiamila. Just recently, the opposition PDP instructed lawmakers-elect under its platform to support Gbajabiamila.
“This again tells how much we are collectively getting it right as a country.
“Gbajabiamila is presently the most experienced of all the lawmakers, and he has remained one of the most productive members of the House of Representatives.”
We Are Ready For Negotiation
Meanwhile, the Gbajabiamila’s group it appears is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to carry the day come Tuesday when the decision is made on the floor of the House of Representatives.
This is because lawmakers supporting Gbajabiamila’s speakership in the 9th National Assembly have said they are ready to negotiate with members of the opposition on their candidate’s ambition.
Already, they said that they had met and secured the support of more than 60 members of the PDP and other opposition political parties.
The Director General of the Femi Gbajabiamila and Ibrahim Wase Campaign Organisation, AbdulMumumi Jibril, stated this in Abuja on Sunday.
He spoke at an event where lawmakers supporting the aspiration of Gbajabiamila/Wase team gathered to affirm their support for the team.
Wase is the group’s candidate for the position of deputy Speakership.
Mumumi said, “We have more than 60 members of the PDP and other opposition members in the camp of the Gbajabiamila camp. We are ready to negotiate with everyone.
“The South-East caucus has declared its support for the Gbajabiamila group. Unlike 2015, we have made sufficient inroads into the PDP.
“The South-East caucus members said they were ready to partner us. The incoming speaker and his deputy listened to them.
“For other candidates in the race, our doors are opened for them.”
Share your thoughts with us below.