Ahead of today’s resumption of the Senate, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has resolved to transmit a letter to the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, to stay action on filling the position of the Senate minority leadership of the upper legislative chamber.
This was part of the decision taken by the National Working Committee of the party on Monday at a meeting held at the Wadata Plaza, the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.
The meeting which was attended by seven NWC members and 25 out of 36 Senators elected on the platform of the PDP adopted the immediate past Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal for the position of Senate Minority Leader of the 10th Senate.
Tambuwal was elected in 2023 into the red chamber to represent Sokoto South Senatorial District following the completion of his second tenure as governor.
The NWC, however, resolved to delay the announcement of Tambuwal’s nomination until the majority of its Senators and NWC members return to Abuja from the Sallah break.
However, opposition to Tambuwal’s aspiration has heightened with loyalists to ex-Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike kicking against the PDP’s choice of the former House of Representatives speaker.
On July 2, Wike and other members of his G-5 group were supporting the lawmaker representing Cross River North, Senator Agom Jarigbe for the senate minority position.
Also, the All Progressives Grand Alliance has vowed not to support the aspiration of the former Sokoto State governor.
In a statement issued after the NWC meeting by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the PDP premised its decision to withhold its position on the Senate minority leadership position on the need for adequate consultation, even as it slammed the All Progressives Congress for allegedly meddling in the selection process.
The statement read in part “At the meeting, the importance of a virile and stable opposition in the Senate and indeed the National Assembly was emphasized, and the caucus assured that it will play that important role in the defence of democracy in the interest and wellbeing of Nigerians.
“The meeting condemned in its entirety the alleged subterranean moves by the APC to meddle in the affairs of the minority with regards to the emergence of the minority leadership which is an exclusive reserve of the minority caucus as expressly stipulated by constitutional provisions and Standing Rules of the Senate.
“The PDP and the Senators will continue with consultations on the emergence of the minority leader in the Senate and are resolved to collectively present a unified leadership after due and conclusive considerations. Accordingly, the PDP will continue to provide the necessary leadership in this regard.
“Consequently, the meeting resolved that the PDP NWC communicates to the Senate President, Distinguished Senator Godswill Akpabio, on the ongoing consultation in the minority caucus to the effect that the nominations into the minority leadership positions in the Senate have not been concluded and that upon conclusion, the nominated list will be formally conveyed to him appropriately for necessary action.”
However, a member of the NWC said that Tambuwal was chosen because the party believed in him.
“At the meeting, we chose Tambuwal for a couple of reasons. He is experienced and has the capacity to defend the PDP in a minority position against a rampaging Federal Government,” he said.
“A letter will be sent to the Senate President on Tuesday (today) on the need for our caucus in the Senate to deliberate further and arrive at the list of officers chosen to represent the party in the minority positions. Because of the Sallah break, most of our Senators and NWC members are not yet in town. Nobody wants to take a factional decision.
“Even the acting National Chairman, Umar Damagun was not at the meeting. The meeting was presided over by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba,” he explained.
Commenting on the opposition party’s decision, a former member of the House of Representatives, Ogbonna Nwuke accused the leadership of the party of working against precedents.
The Wike loyalist, who represented Etche-Omuma Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, also said national interest would determine the next line of action of the ex-Rivers State governor.
He stated, “We have heard that the PDP or a group of persons acting in the name of the party has nominated the former Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal as the official candidate for the position of minority leader in the 10th Senate.