SAN FRANCISCO, May 06, (THEWILL) – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has declared that despite being a minority in the incoming National Assembly, its members could seek to lead the legislative chambers.
THEWILL recalls that Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), won a majority in the elections for both the Senate and the House of Representatives having over 60 of the 109 Senate seats and over 220 of the 360-seat House of Representatives.
It is expected to produce the leadership of both chambers but intense rivalry among its members could make the PDP a major decider on who would emerge for the four leadership positions.
While the APC has anointed Femi Gbajabiamila as the next speaker and Ahmed Lawan as Senate President, some other elected lawmakers of the party have vowed to challenge both men for the positions.
The opposition party, however, said it is yet to decide on who to support for the positions as it is being courted by all the aspirants.
In a statement by the PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said that its position was predicated on reports in a section of the media suggesting that PDP members-elect in the House of Representatives had settled for a particular aspirant.
Ologbondiyan said that no official position had been taken on the issue, “particularly as the positions of presiding officers are not exclusive preserve of the ruling party or any other party for that matter, but a constitutional right of every elected lawmaker in their respective chambers.
“Moreover, the PDP has an array of elected lawmakers, in both chambers, who are eminently qualified and equally popular among their colleagues, across the divide, to hold office as presiding officers of both chambers of the NASS in line with Section 50 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“What is important to Nigerians is the emergence of a purposeful leadership that will ensure accountability and good governance in the polity”.
THEWILL recalls that the PDP played a spoiler role in 2015 when the APC supported Messrs Lawan and Gbajabiamila.
However, the support of PDP members meant Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara emerged Senate President and Speaker respectively.