Crisis rocks PDP over zoning of NASS Positions


The recently released guideline of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which zoned positions due to members of the party in the two chambers of the National Assembly has introduced fresh crisis in the PDP.

Former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, sources say may emerge as the consensus candidate for the position of Senate minority leadership due to the stalemate in the bid to reach a compromise.
Leadership positions in the National Assembly due to PDP members include Senate minority leader, deputy Senate minority leader, House minority leader, deputy House minority leader as well the positions of minority whip and deputy minority whip in the two chambers.
The PDP on Wednesday at the end of its National Working Committee (NWC) meeting zoned the Senate minority leader position to the South-South geopolitical zone and minority whip to the North Central.
The position of deputy minority leader and deputy minority whip went to North-east and South-west respectivelyý, while in the House of Representatives; PDP accepted the choice of Leo Ogor from South-South as minority leader while the North West is to produce the minority whip.
The South-east and North-east will produce deputy minority leader and deputy minority whip respectively.
But less than 24 hours after the PDP came out with its position on zoning, a major crisis has begun within the party over those that will fill those positions in the National Assembly.
Leaders of the party including former President Goodluck Jonathan were said to have earlier settled for either George Sekibo or James Manager but the consideration was said to have changed recently when Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who is the highest political office holder in the party called for a meeting asking for deliberations on the matter.

It was learnt that Ekweremadu from his tone at the meeting, was not keen on having Sekibo, a view which was said to have been reinforced by Governor Nyesom Wike’s equally lukewarm disposition towards the senator from Rivers State while Manager’s chances are said to have been dimmed by the fact that he hails from Delta State same as Leo Ogor who has been endorsed as the House minority leader.
The stalemate was said to have encouraged Akpabio to indicate interest in contesting for the position.
Akpabio is however a first time senator and has to contend with the Senate Rules on ranking which gives preference to those who have been in the legislature for some time.
But the former governor is said to enjoy enormous good will from his colleagues in the South- south and has the resources to pursue his ambition.

A senator from the  South- South told newsmen in confidence they thought the issue of Senate minority leader has been laid to rest until the Deputy Senate President called them for a meeting in his house where he sought their opinion on the propriety or otherwise of selecting Senator Sekibo 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.

“Although Akpabio has argued that both Manager and the House Minority Leader-designate, Leo Ogor, being from Delta state, cannot hold the two positions simultaneously, we have also told him that since the PDP is in unusual circumstances, we can allow that to fly,” he stated.
Both Ekweremadu and Akpabio were said to be busy when our correspondents tried to reach them on the issue. is your one-stop online news magazine blog. We report credible information as they happen. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get Latest Information.

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