PDP set to upset APC’s slate, backs Ndume for senate president, Bago as speaker

Ali Ndume Ali Ndume

Rising from a meeting members of National Working Committee of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had with its lawmakers-elect in Abuja on Monday night, the party said it would support Mr Ali Ndume to become President of Senate in the 9th National Assembly.

In the same vein, the main opposition party is also giving tacit support to the ambition of Mr Umar Bago to lead House of Representatives as its speaker.

The meeting was presided over by National Chairman of PDP, Mr Uche Secondus.

Sources at the meeting told one of our correspondents that the attendees engaged in serious calculations on whether their preferred candidates could defeat those lined up for the job by ruling APC.

APC had adopted both Lawan and Gbajabiamila for the positions of Senate President of Senate and Speaker of House of Representatives, respectively.

However, the national leadership of the PDP was said to have told the lawmakers-elect that the party must play the role of opposition in both chambers.

Though it was argued that while the meeting was ongoing, some lawmakers-elect from the party were at the press briefing where Gbajabiamila was endorsed, the party believed that mere attendance of the meeting might not necessarily translate into votes for the Lagos State lawmaker.

A source, who was at the meeting, told one of our correspondents that there were signs that some members of the ruling party in both houses would also work against the party’s candidates.

The source said APC lawmakers were merely carrying on and appearing as if they were in tandem with the dictates of the national leadership of their party.

He said, “We have done our calculations very well. We have also spoken with a lot of lawmakers and we have come to the conclusion that we should not just be part of the crowd that APC is forcing on Nigerians.

“We have spoken with our lawmakers-elect and even some members from APC in both Senate and House of Representatives. We have interacted with the candidates running for different positions in both chambers.

“We know that the legislature must be independent and also be free to elect their leaders. We must not be seen to be controlling this special arm of government from outside. The legislature remains the beacon of Nigeria’s democracy.”

When contacted, Secondus confirmed the position taken by the party.

He said, “As the opposition political party, we must be seen to play responsible opposition role. Yes, none of the two presiding officers we are rooting for belong to PDP, but we know that as a critical member of National Assembly, we must have a say in the election of its leaders. This is the reason why we are backing both Ndume and Bago.”

 

Punch

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