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NASS Elections: Tension In PDP Also Over Principal Officers

Indications emerged on Thursday that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may be heading for a deep crisis over the choice of its principal officers at the National Assembly.

The choice of who gets what in the Assembly among PDP lawmakers, it was gathered has pitched many party stalwarts against one another as they differ on who should get what in the National Assembly.

While former president Goodluck Jonathan and his wife are in support of Senator George Sekibo who is from Rivers State for Minority Leadership position, the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike were allied against him.

Whereas both Ekweremadu and Wike are against the choice Sekibo as Minority Leader as suggested by the former first family, the immediate-past governor of Akwa-Ibom State and now senator, Godswill Akpabio has indicated interest in the same position.

However, Akpabio’s ambition, which is at variance with the Senate Rules on ranking, appears to have received the support of majority of the senators from the South-South, the zone the position of Senate Minority Leader has been allocated to.

Meanwhile, the chances of Senator James Manager, who had hitherto been touted as the Senate Minority Leader are looking dim as financial muscle appears to have laid a path ahead of the final decision that will be announced when the Senate resumes plenary on July 21.

A Senator from the South-South zone confided in a team of newsmen that the brewing crisis was “capable of weakening the PDP ahead of its role as a viable opposition party in the years ahead.”

In his words, “We are seeing the APC crisis now; ours is also in the making because before July 21, if we too don’t sort ourselves out, we can at best say that what is capable of weakening the PDP ahead of its role as a viable opposition party in the years ahead may have been planted.

“We all thought the issue of Senate Minority Leader had been laid to rest until the DSP (Deputy Senate President) called us for a meeting in his house where he sought people’s opinion on the propriety or otherwise of selecting Senator John Owan Eno for the position.

“I think it was from there the former Akwa-Ibom governor got the feeling that if the matter has to be revisited, then he would take a shot at it. But he doesn’t know that his ambition is against the rules of the senate as regards the selection of its principal officers.

“Before then, we were all facing the challenge of the suggestion by the former president and his wife that we should consider Sekibo who is from Rivers State but the duo of Ekweremadu and Wike kicked against it.

“From all indications, if we don’t step in on time, our earlier decision backing James Manager may fail because you know what money can do in politics; we can’t say money won’t work in this circumstance,” he said.

-Leadership

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