Posted by Timige, On 16 Nov, 2023 | Updated On 16 Nov, 2023 No Comments »
Senators on the platform of the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, on Wednesday, held a crucial meeting at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.
The agenda of the meeting held in the office of the Senator representing Kebbi South, Garba Maidoki, was to seek replacement for the principal positions of the Senate Minority Leader and Minority Whip.
The former Minority Whip, Senator Simon Mwadkwon (PDP, Plateau North) was removed last October by a pronouncement of the Court of Appeal.
A three-member appeal panel ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to within 90 days, conduct a fresh election in the Plateau North Senatorial District.
In a similar vein, a Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, had sacked the Senate minority chief whip representing Abia Central under the platform of the Labour Party, Darlington Nwokocha, and subsequently declared Augustine Akobundu of the PDP as the authentic winner of the February 25 election in the senatorial district.
At a closed-door session on Wednesday, the PDP lawmakers resolved to zone the office of the Minority Leader to the North Central geo-political zone.
The PDP lawmakers in the zone include Abba Moro (Benue South), Peter Ndalikali (Niger South) and Mohammed Onawo (Nassarawa South).
The lawmakers who agreed to convey their position to other lawmakers in the other opposition parties in the Red Chamber noted that the North Central has been shut out in the power distribution in the country.
In attendance at the meeting were Senators Aminu Tambuwal, Abdul Ningi, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, Abba Morro, Aminu Dankwabbo, Francis Fadahunsi Osita Ngwu, Ned Nwoko, Adamu Aliero, amongst others.
Speaking with journalists after the closed-door meeting, Senator Maidoki explained why the PDP senators settled for North Central.
He said, “Everyone has agreed that the North Central should have that position for equity.
“Whether you are in PDP or APC, the Senate President is from the South-South, the Deputy Senate President is from North West, the Senate Leader is from South West, the Chief Whip is from North East. So, the only zone where you do not have a leadership position is North Central, after the exit of the last Minority Leader.
“We have all agreed that the North Central should have it for equity. Even though the highest number of PDP senators are from the North West, we are on the same page, we are unanimous, and we have agreed to those who want the same position we have persuaded. This was just driven by equity for every zone. In any case, it is only a position of trust, he has only one vote when it comes to voting, and the Senate President has only one vote. ”
Senator Maidoki who disclosed that there would be no micro-zoning to any individual said the President of the Senate was aware of the meeting of the PDP lawmakers.
“We don’t want to make the same mistake we made the last time, we refused to take a position on time and some people took the decision for us.
“Hence we had to hold this emergency meeting when we realised that a vacuum existed in the minority leadership, and in the past weeks, nothing had been done, so we had to move quickly.
“The Senate President was here this morning and we assured him that it was a PDP affair and we want to make sure we chose our leader who can contribute robustly to debates in the Senate.
“It’s not about change or overturning anyone, it’s about the leadership vacuum in the minority and we don’t want anyone to choose for us.”
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