Speaker/Senate President: PDP Plots To Take Control Of N’Assembly

There are indications that the Peoples Democratic Party is scheming to assume control of the National Assembly following the failure of the All Progressives Congress leaders to agree on zoning of offices.

Saturday PUNCH gathered on Friday that the PDP caucuses in the two chambers of the National Assembly were plotting to benefit from the squabbles in the APC by teaming up with aggrieved elements in the latter.

The aim of such an alliance, investigations showed, would be the emergence of a speaker and a senate president different from candidates approved by the APC.

It was learnt that the PDP hoped that by ensuring its choices emerged as the speaker and the senate president, it would “snatch” the control of the eighth National Assembly from the APC.

A member of the PDP caucus in the House, who pleaded anonymity, said, “Although we are not disputing the fact that the APC should produce leaders of the National Assembly, we will ensure that those who will emerge are people we prefer, not the choices of the APC leaders.

“By doing that, we will snatch the control of the National Assembly from them, just as the APC controlled the House through Aminu Tambuwal.”

The APC leaders had on Thursday failed to reach a decision on zoning of political offices at their meeting in Abuja.

There were reports that the APC’s National Working Committee had recommended some zoning arrangements to its National Executive Committee.

According to the reports, the position of the senate president seat was zoned to the North-Central and the Deputy Senate President to the North-East.

There were two accounts on the zoning of speakership. While one stated that the post of speakership was zoned to the South-West, the other indicated that it was meant for the North-East.

The deputy speakership was said to have been zoned to the South-South

But the APC, in a statement early in the week, denied the reports. Its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, urged Nigerians to disregard the reports and described them as products of hyperactive rumour mills.

In spite of the APC’s statement, it was gathered that zoning topped the agenda of the APC leaders’ meeting on Thursday.

The PUNCH had reported that no decision was reached at the meeting because the leaders felt that more consultations were needed on the issue.

It was learnt that some of the PDP members in the incoming eighth Senate, who would occupy 48 of the 109 seats, had already begun talks with their APC counterparts from the North-East.

The talks, it was gathered, followed the failure of the APC leaders to take a decision on zoning.

The APC senators that have been mentioned as having interest in the senate presidency include Bukola Saraki (Kwara Central); George Akume (Benue North) and Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North).

Based on the recent general elections, the APC will have 60 members in the eighth Senate while the PDP will have 48. Election into the Delta Central Senatorial District is still outstanding.

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