The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) could find itself a minority party on the floor of both houses on Tuesday, according to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which has entered into a working agreement with other opposition parties ahead of the inauguration of the parliament.
This ends weeks of speculations over its position on the leadership of the 10th National Assembly.
Debo Ologunagba, the party’s spokesman, revealed this at a press conference held on Thursday at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
He claimed that the PDP-aligned members are united and that the opposition parties are prepared to use their size to influence who becomes the Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker.
Speaking to reporters, Ologunagba said because the National Assembly is the embodiment of democracy, it must be safeguarded against anti-democratic elements.
He continued by saying that the party is coordinating with its representatives-elect in both chambers to create a united front in at Tuesday’s inauguration.
“With regard to the current race for the Presiding Officers of the National Assembly, it is instructive to note that the opposition parties put together to form a strong majority in the National Assembly and we are very mindful of that.
“The PDP leadership is working together with our members-elect and opposition parties in the two chambers.
“Irrespective of the ongoing and claims in the media, I want to inform you that the PDP has a clear direction which we hold close to our chest. Our members are united in that direction and it will show on the floor of both Houses of the National Assembly on Tuesday, June 13, 2023.
“In all, we do not discountenance the fact that the opposition parties have the majority in the National Assembly which we are ready to deploy maximally,” he said.
Godswill Akpabio, Orji Kalu, and Osita Izunaso, three former PDP leaders, are vying for the position of Senate President, while Abbas Tajudeen, Mukhtar Batera, and Idris Wase, all APC members, are the front-runners for the position of Speaker of the House.
Akpabio and Abbas were previously endorsed by the APC leadership for the positions of Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senate President, respectively.
The APC produced 59 Senators after the parliamentary elections on February 25, leaving the opposition parties with 50. The opposition parties have 182 representatives in the House of Representatives, compared to 177 for the ruling party.
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.