PDP not interested in Senate leadership, say chieftains


Senate President, David Mark

THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is more concerned about presenting a formidable opposition than the Senate presidency, where it has no candidate, the National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, and former chairman of Delta State chapter, Peter Nwaoboshi, have said.

This clarification come on the heels of speculations that the Senate President, David Mark, was warming up to capitalise on the division in the All Progressives Congress (APC), occasioned by its unwillingness to zone certain leadership positions, to contest for the number three seat in the country.

Reps reject imposition of speaker Meanwhile, some APC members under the aegis of eighth Assembly Consolidation Group have taken a swipe at some of the party leaders for allegedly employing “unethical and undemocratic” method to subvert the laid-down procedure on the emergence of House of Representatives Speaker.

The members yesterday vowed to resist any move to facilitate the conduct of elections outside the hallowed chamber for the emergence of speaker without recourse to such laid-down procedure and the constitution.

In a statement yesterday, the members, Ahman Aliyu Pategi, Zakari Mohammed, Babangida Ibrahim Mahuta, Aishat Dukku, Haliru Jika and Jagaba Adams Jagaba, accused some unnamed party leaders of working to disregard the Presidential declaration and forging ahead to manipulate the party to conduct an unconstitutional shadow election for speakership.

They alleged “certain unethical and undemocratic moves by some desperate party leaders, who are bent on subverting the laid-down procedure,” all aimed at forcing “a preferred candidate on the party hierarchy and members via intimidation and financial inducements by a certain party leader.”

The further vowed: “We cannot allow our young party to be shortchanged by selfish power mongers, who would stop at nothing to throw the collective sweat of Nigerians invested in the APC to ruins and waste.”

PDP not interested in Senate leadership However, Metuh told the media yesterday in Abuja that against the speculations in the media, “what is important to the PDP is how we can form a credible opposition party to offer alternatives and options to Nigerians on the policies and programmes of the ruling party.

“We are at present more worried about the heinous plot by some elements in the ruling party to influence membership of tribunals in order to attempt to upturn the victory of PDP in certain states.

“We believe senators are mature, experienced and exposed and hold the mandate of their people, and we believe that election for Senate presidency and deputy should be left for our members to decide.”

Similarly, Nwaoboshi, who is the Delta North senator-elect, has urged the APC leadership to leave the PDP out of the power tussle for Senate top leadership.

He told The Guardian yesterday that the party has earlier spoken through Metuh that it would not be contesting for the office.

Nwaoboshi described the newspaper publications accusing the PDP and Mark of attempting to divide the party over the tussle as holding no truth.

He urged the APC to face the issue as the party has no intention of contesting alongside APC senators. Nwaoboshi had earlier endorsed Bukola Saraki on the ground that “he was the most detribalised and has better administrative experience than Ahmed Lawan. Nevertheless, he said: “We must quit playing with mundane things.

“At this point in our national history and in our bid to further entrench the ethos of democracy as concerns the principle of Separation of Power, we all agreed that competent and capable hands must be elected or put in position of authority. “In that respect, Saraki is the most qualified to occupy the seat of Senate President.

He is a detribalised Nigerian. He was once a chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and in that position, he was able to hold the various governors from different political parties together.

“He is not somebody that anybody can just pick up and dictate to. This means he will not allow any external force to dictate to us in the Senate. He has done it before, even in Kwara State.” He added: “We do not want a legislature that will be controlled from the outside.

Of course, when he sits in the midst of former governors, they will also give him respect, having been a governor.” On the party’s assessment of the APC-led Federal Government so far, Metuh stated: “They (APC) are in charge of the country right now and we believe their visions and programmes and policy.

“Time should be given them to come up before you can start to critic. We don’t want to be crying or making noise fervently, the issue is that the success of President (Muhammadu) Buhari is the success of the entire Nigeria and progress of our democracy. “The PDP is not interested in wishing them ill, so we cannot dabble into their affairs, they should be left to handle it, we don’t know who they want to make ministers.”

“We don’t know how they plan to make the naira equal to dollar, we don’t know the 25 million people they are going to pay N5000, we cannot select for the APC.

“Our supporters may think we are weak, not being hailed in the social media. Let the president settle down, we will clock the mileage periodically in assessing the progress they have made and Nigerians will decide which party is better to project democracy in this country.

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