PDP and G-5 Clash over Minority Leadership in the National Assembly

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There is a brewing conflict between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the G-5 over the minority leadership position in the Senate of the National Assembly. The PDP, along with its presidential candidate in the last election, Atiku Abubakar, has thrown its support behind Aminu Tambuwal, the former governor of Sokoto State. However, the G-5 is pushing for Senator Jarigbe Jarigbe from Cross River North to occupy the same position.

Tensions have been escalating between Atiku and the G-5, which includes Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, former governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia). The G-5 members had opposed Atiku’s bid for the presidency during the party’s primary elections.

According to Senate rules, apart from the two presiding officer positions, there are eight principal positions to be occupied by elected lawmakers from both the ruling and minority parties. The nominations for the minority leadership positions will be announced on July 4, following the election of the presiding officers.

The race for the Senate minority leadership has created tension among opposition senators, with allegations of vested interests attempting to impose a candidate on the Senate. There are anonymous claims that Atiku is supporting Tambuwal for the position, while Wike is backing Jarigbe. The dynamics are complicated by personal rivalries stemming from the previous presidential elections.

The PDP intends to appoint Tambuwal as the Senate leader, citing his experience as a former Speaker of the House of Representatives. However, some lawmakers from the G-5 are opposing Tambuwal’s selection due to perceived betrayal during the presidential primaries. The party leadership is being urged to reconsider their choice to maintain unity within the minority camp.

As the situation unfolds, the Senate and House of Representatives leadership are approaching the matter cautiously. The final decision on the minority leadership positions will have significant implications for the opposition party’s role in the National Assembly over the next four years.

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