The National Assembly politics is an ever changing dynamic that begs to be studied at every turn.
Remember that National Assembly Leadership position is usually taken up by the party that has the majority in the house which is the precedence that has always been used since 1999 when Nigeria returned to civil rule.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has been in position of majority for the second tenure now and when the Assembly is inaugurated in June, it will produce majority of the house leaders, provided it is able to get its act right before the D-day.
But, it looks like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which holds minority status in the two chambers will not let the APC enjoy its majority of the house in peace considering that there has been plans and strategies to take over major positions from the APC.
News reports have revealed that the leadership of the PDP will be having a meeting with the party’s lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives very soon to discuss the zoning of the offices meant for the opposition party in the two chambers.
The offices are Minority Leader, Deputy Minority Leader, Minority Whip and Deputy Minority Whip.
A source close to the party, told THE PUNCH that the PDP had also started working behind the scene to decide who become the President of the Senate, Deputy President of the Senate, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
According to the source, the PDP does not want the All Progressives Congress which is in the majority in both chambers to occupy the top positions.
But the APC is also perfecting its strategies to make sure that it does not share top leadership positions with the PDP in the 9th National Assembly.
APC lawmakers are expected to occupy the positions of Chief Whip, Deputy Chief Whip, Majority and Deputy Majority Leader.
A member of the National Working Committee of the PDP, who spoke on condition of anonymity to one of our correspondents, said the decision on how the party’s leaders in the National Assembly would emerge would be transparent.
According to the source, if any PDP lawmaker in the National Assembly disagrees with the party’s choice, the party will organise a shadow election.
He said, “We will meet anytime next week to discuss the outcome of the general elections. The meeting ought to have been held before now, but we deferred it because of the governorship election in Rivers State. Now that the election has come to a successful conclusion, we will meet and discuss how the offices meant for the party are to be shared among the zones. We will also allow the lawmakers to decide if they want the occupiers of such offices to be on a consensus basis or by ballot. We will not impose anyone on them.”
Confirming the development, the National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, was quoted saying: “The PDP is a democratic party. We will not dictate to our lawmakers. We can only guide and listen to them. If they want a consensus (sharing of National Assembly leadership positions), so be it. And if they want to do a shadow election, so be it. The PDP is a democratic party. We are not going to bully anyone. You can see that we did not have any problems during the primaries that produced the candidates because we allowed the will of the people to prevail. We will also allow the will of the majority to prevail in choosing the leaders of our party in the National Assembly.”
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party had yet to decide on how its leaders in the National Assembly would emerge.
Ologbondiyan said, “We have not decided on that one (whether by ballot or a consensus). Once the elections are over, the party will meet with our lawmakers-elect. Our party has not also decided who will be the Senate Minority Leader and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. When the elections are over, the party will meet to deliberate on what we are going to do as a party.”
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