The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senators of the 9th National Assembly, have launched an intense scheming for the slot of Senate Minority Leader.
It was gathered that the scheming for Leadership positions in the Senate, clearly manifested during the issuance of Certificates of Return to the Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, on Thursday.
The PDP is expected to produce the Minority Leader in the 9th Senate, with its 42 Senators. The APC on the other hand, boasts of 65 Senators, while the Young Progressives Congress, YPP, has one Senator.
A competent source in the National Assembly, revealed on Monday, that the calculation is that the South-East geo-political zone, with its 13 Senators, and still counting, would produce the Senate Minority Leader.
He noted the South-South geo-political zone is already out of the race for the position of Senate Minority Leader, because the zone occupies the exalted position of the PDP National Chairman, in the person of Prince Uche Secondus.
The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and the South-East Caucus Leader in the Upper Chamber, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, are said to be highly favoured to clinch the Senate Minority Leader position, in the 9th Senate.
The source, who stated that he is aware the PDP Leadership would soon come out to declare its position, “on who gets what in the Senate and House of Representatives”, also noted that, “the position of Senate Minority Leader is not an elective position.”
He said: “Senate Minority Leader position is a party affair. The PDP Leadership will soon declare its stand about who should occupy the position.
“PDP wants to get it right, in order not to make the mistake of Senator Godswill Akpabio, who abandoned the position to defect to the APC, in the build up to the 2019 general elections.
“It is incumbent on the party to decide. The position is purely a party affair. It is not elective. Especially now that the momentum seems to be on the side of the PDP. With expected more States to its fold, it is for the party to sustain the tempo, by installing an effective opposition Leader.
“The Senator Godswill Akpabio scenario must not be allowed to play out again.”
The source also said that the PDP plans to install “a cohesive Opposition Leader, that would articulate the position of the party in the Senate.”
Asked who is likely to get the slot between Ekweremadu and Abaribe, he hesitated and said: “PDP Leaders are weighing options, but what I can deduct from the body language of some party Leaders, is that perhaps they would want Ekweremadu to now play a father-figure role in the Senate, which former Senate President, Senator David Mark, effectively played in the 8th Senate.
“It is on record that Ekweremadu, having served as Deputy Senate President for three consecutive times, with active support of the PDP and its Senators, nobody challenged him; it is widely expected that he should now play a father-figure role in the Senate. Senator David Mark, a former Senate President, did it to the admiration of party members. Nobody should be desperate about anything.”
He assured that: “PDP will put its house in order, and come up with a suitable name.”