Differences among incoming federal legislators elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over who to support for Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker in June are not about to abate any moment soon, an investigation has revealed.
The PDP, according to multiple sources, is mobilizing its members to vote against the official candidates of the APC for the two positions to put the opposition party in a position to influence decisions in the legislature.
One of the options being considered by the PDP is to sponsor the pair of Alhaji Danjuma Goje as Senate President and Chief Ike Ekweremadu as his deputy.
Some other PDP leaders are suggesting either Sen. Ali Ndume-Ekweremadu mandate or Sen. Abdullahi Adamu-Ekweremadu ticket.
But several incoming PDP federal lawmakers are not convinced that their party’s plot will sail through.
Several meetings by the legislators-elect convened to resolve the issues have failed as they could not agree on zoning the minority offices or allowing the current leadership of the party’s caucuses in the national assembly to continue when the 9th assembly commences.
It was gathered that while the PDP hierarchy favours the retention of the current leadership of the party caucuses in the national assembly, the majority of the legislators-elect are rooting for a new order.
Another meeting held in Abuja last week to address the issues ended without a concrete agreement on the matters discussed.
“We are yet to agree on the national assembly leadership questions,” a member at the last meeting said.
He added: “In fact, a new dimension was introduced into it at the Abuja meeting. A group of senators are now agitating that the minority leader must be returned to the South-south geopolitical zone from where it was taken away following the defection of Senator Godswill Akpabio to the APC.
“Members-elect from the Southwest are also asking questions about what will be the place of the zone in the leadership arrangement.
“I can recall that the issue of how the zone was allegedly schemed out of the race for national chairmanship was revived as part of the many arguments now going on within our party.”
The PDP may also have jettisoned the idea of making Ekweremadu minority leader in the event that the bid to make return him as deputy senate president fails.
The party, sources said, was swayed on the matter by the strong opposition of the majority of the legislators elect to the idea.
“That was suggested but I don’t think it is on the table again. Majority of us are opposed to the idea,” our source said.
“We still need to agree on a lot of things.
“I can tell you for example that it is not true that all of us want to work with Senator Danjuma Goje as being reported.
“Many of us would rather have PDP support someone like Senator Ali Ndume. And this was raised when we met. Those supporting Goje are largely current Senators many of whom are not returning to the national assembly.
“It is our own opinion that we do not want to be seen as fighting the battles of some ex-Senators when we resume. We want to be seen as our own men.
“Goje is widely believed to be negotiating with the current leadership of the Senate for a deal. That is not the opinion or position of many of us.
“Ndume represents something fresh and we will prefer that. But unfortunately, the public is being made to believe Goje is our choice.”
The Nation was also informed of the existence of another group of PDP legislators-elect who are opposed to the idea of a deal with any APC senator against Senator Ahmed Lawan.
This group, according to party sources, has been impressing it on the leadership of the party that none of the APC senators threatening to oppose Lawan can deliver the needed APC votes to make any alliance work against the ruling party in the 9th assembly.
A PDP national officer from the Southwest said the lawmakers are more opened to the offers being made towards the opposition legislators by Lawan and Femi Gabjabiamila.
“They think it is better to strike deals that will see the APC and PDP sharing committee positions in a manner that will enable them to work together amicably than working on plots that will further factionalise the national assembly when they resume.”
“Many of them are openly condemning the hard-line stance of the current leadership of the national assembly.”
“I have heard PDP legislators-elect advice against a national assembly leadership that will be opposed to everything about the executive arm of government. They want an end to the current hostility between the presidency and the national assembly. It may be difficult to get such persons to back the ongoing plot.”
The Nation, however, gathered that the leadership of the PDP is determined to ensure that legislators-elect on the platform of the party are united ahead of the inauguration of the 9th assembly.
This, according to party sources, is necessary considering the desire of the opposition party to play a role in the emergence of the leadership of the next national assembly.
“We are talking to our lawmakers-elect. We are optimistic that we will go into the 9th assembly as a united bloc. It is a very important issue to us and we will do everything possible to achieve that unity. Don’t forget that the PDP as a virile opposition party is desirous of influencing the process that will produce the leadership of the 9th assembly,” one of our sources added.