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9th NASS Leadership: PDP NWC Meet This Week

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Amint Ahmed

THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national leadership will meet in Abuja this week to settle on who to support among those aspiring to lead the two chambers of the Ninth National Assembly.

It was learnt that expentance to be at the meeting are members of the party’s National Working Committee led by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus; lawmakers-elect for the Ninth National Assembly; outgoing principal officers of the Eighth National Assembly who are members of the party and some selected members of the party’s National Executive Council.

The PUNCH reported that it is not clear yet if the party’s presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, and his running mate, Peter Obi, will also be part of the meeting.

The medium also reported that both the outgoing President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; and outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, are expected to speak on those aspiring to succeed them.

“The party’s national leadership will carry everyone along in the decision-making concerning the issue,” a party source said.

Two members of the APC in the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and Ali Ndume, have openly declared their intention to succeed Saraki as the President of the Senate.

A former Governor of Gombe State, Senator Danjuma Goje, who is said to also be interested in the race, has yet to publicly declare his interest.

Also, six APC members, including Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos), Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (Abia), John Dyegh (Benue) Mohammed Bago (Niger), Olatunbosun Olajide (Oyo) and Segun Odebunmi (Oyo) are currently aspiring to succeed Dogara as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. However, it was not clear if the PDP would extract commitment for any special position in the National Assembly from any of the aspirants who are members of the APC.

But a party source said, “We will be guided by the analysis or the briefs we will receive on the aspirants. Their pedigree will also be useful in the decision we will take on them.

“Why we are not going to impose any decision on the lawmakers is because they are the ones that will work with their leaders, what we will do is just to be guided and make sure that we go into the election with one voice.

“We want to approach the issue as a political party and also to be sure that the interests of Nigerians are well protected.”

Spokesperson for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said in an interview, “The party will certainly meet this week and take a decision on whether our elected members of the Ninth National Assembly would be directed to cast their votes for a particular aspirant or be given freedom to vote for any aspirant of their choice.

“We will meet with the PDP caucuses in the Senate and House of Representatives separately because they know the particular aspirant they could work with.

“We have not got to the level of determining sanctions against our members who have already started identifying with a particular candidate.”

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