Row in PDP over Senate list of principal officers


The plot by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP) to tinker with the list of selected principal
officers of the party in the Senate is brewing bad blood.
There were unconfirmed reports on Tuesday that the NWC had concluded
arrangements to alter the list of selected minority leadership in the
upper legislative chamber.
It was reliably learnt that the party planned to drop the senator
representing Edo Central, Clifford Ordia, from the list slated to be
announced next Tuesday.
The NWC named Ordia as its Deputy Minority Whip in the Senate at a
meeting held in the house of the party’s National Chairman, Uche
Secondus last week.
If the plot succeeds, Ordia is likely to be replaced by Senator Sahabi
Yau from Zamfara State.
At the same meeting, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, (Abia South), was
named the party’s Senate Minority Leader.
Senators Emmanuel Bwacha, (Taraba South) was selected as Deputy
Minority Leader, while Senator Philip Aduda (Federal Capital
Territory) was chosen as the Minority Whip.
Some PDP senators from the South-south, have vowed to resist any move
to drop Ordia.
The senators are insisting that the party must not impose any
principal officer on them without due consultation.
One of the aggrieved senators who spoke to reporters in Abuja said an
election was conducted at a meeting held at the Abuja residence of the
national chairman on June 14.
He noted that nominations were made in the presence of party leaders
and senators elected on the party’s platform and winners emerged.
He said that those who emerged were unanimously backed by the various
organs of the party.
The unnamed senator added that the plan to alter the list and drop
some names does not have the backing of the caucus of the party.
He insisted that no one has been consulted or any meeting held with
PDP senators to agree on the need to alter the list.
The senator who does not want to be named accused some governors of
mounting pressure on the leadership of the PDP to ensure that their
interest is represented in the Senate.
He said: “Under the rules of the Senate, it is not the responsibility
of the National Working Committee to select principal officials.
“It is the responsibility of the senators themselves to select who
leads them. The minority senators have freely elected those they want
and nothing will change it.
“The argument that they want to represent every part of the country is
false. There are eight positions open to the PDP in the two chambers
of the National Assembly. Even if you share one to each geo-political
zone, two will still get an extra slot.
“Those we selected are known to us. They are the people we can work
with. Some governors causing this division don’t know how the
parliament operates. They want to control everything in the party for
their selfish interest.
“Maybe the NWC has not learnt its lessons. The APC tried this
imposition in the 8th Senate and they paid for it dearly. It is up to
the PDP to allow us to have our way or allow strangers to destroy its
fold in the Senate.”

…party condemns detention of social media critic over criticism of Kwara Govt

By Mumini Abdulkareem

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State has condemned in
strong terms the detention of a social media critic, Olusegun Olusola,
popularly known as Sholyment by operatives of the Department of State
Security (DSS) over criticism of the State government.
Olushola was invited and detained Tuesday morning by some overzealous
DSS operatives who were visibly acting on the orders of some top APC
government officials in the State. The gentleman was released just
this evening after spending hours in the custody of the security
A statement by the Kwara PDP Chairman, Engr. Kola Shittu, said the
arrest of Olushola, is part of rumoured plot by the present Abdulrazaq
Abdulrahman APC-led government to tighten the grip on social media
users and muzzle opposition elements in the State.
“This definitely was not the case during the PDP administration.
Social media critics were not gagged neither were opposition elements
hounded. In fact, a radio station owned by an APC stalwart and that
was notorious for inciting the public against the government was
allowed to operate freely and even patronised by our government.
“The detention of Olushola for several hours by the DSS operatives
amounts to abuse of power and an infringement on his fundamental
right. He has done nothing wrong by attempting to hold the government
“The constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria guarantees
freedom of expression. Citizens have the liberty to criticise
government’s actions and inactions on and off social media. Stifling
social media critics will, therefore, be most unfortunate.
“As a party, we will not allow Abdulrazaq and the APC to curtail free
speech in the State, which is one of the tenets of democracy. It is
very wrong for the government to harass or arrest people with opposing
The party also urged the DSS and other security agencies in the State
not to allow themselves be used by some crooked politicians to hound
and harass members of the opposition.
“We also called on our members and Kwarans not to be intimidated by
any unwarranted provocation from the APC government and its agents.
“Also, as a law abiding party, we will tomorrow submit petitions to
all relevant security agencies on attempts by the APC-led government
to suppress opposing views.”

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