NASS probe: PDP senators threaten defection
Ahead of the submission of the report of the probe panel set up by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to investigate the role of its members in the just concluded National Assembly leadership elections, some PDP lawmakers have threatened to dump the party.
Those who spoke to BDSUNDAY on the matter, cautioned against any attempt to victimise them, adding that this could cause disunity within the party.
“Why would the party want to settle political scores with us? Of what benefit will the investigation be for the average Nigerian? The election has come and gone.
“As an opposition party, we shouldn’t be witch-hunting our members; otherwise it would be catastrophic going into an election. The party
should think and come out with programmes that will make us a vibrant opposition party in the Senate,” a ranking senator said.
Recall that the National Executive Committee of the PDP had set up a fact-finding committee on the role played by some of its members at the election of Presiding Officers of the Ninth National Assembly.
The Committee, which is chaired by former President of the Senate, Adolphus Wabara and ex-National Secretary of the PDP, Wale Oladipo, as secretary, was mandated to find out why some of its lawmakers failed to abide by the decision of the party during the National Assembly leadership election on June 11.
Other members of the committee include: one-time Deputy President of the Senate, Ibrahim Mantu; Stella Omu, Austin Opara, Abdul Ningi,
Margaret Icheen, among others.
Although the party endorsed Ali Ndume and Umar Bago as candidates for Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively, the preferred candidates of the All Progressives
Congress (APC) Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila defeated the anointed candidates of PDP to clinch the positions.
Among other terms of reference, the panel is also expected to find out whether there is any involvement of the governing party in the decision taken by PDP to disobey its directives.
The committee is expected to submit its report by next week.
Also speaking on the issue, a new lawmaker from the North West, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they would divide the party.
According to him, while some of them may leave the party if they are victimised, their sympathisers may decide to stay behind and sabotage the party on future elections.
He said: “We will be forced to leave the party should the committee witch-hunt us. We can’t be making the same mistakes of APC and say we are different from them. APC is known for witch-hunting its members for failing to fall in line, PDP is not known for that. The elections are over. It is time to move on”.
Commenting on the matter, another lawmaker described the investigation as misplaced.
He wondered why the main opposition party is not taking political advantage of the crises rocking the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Like a divided house, the APC is enmeshed in serious crises. From the ‘roforofo’ fight between (Adams) Oshiomhole and (Godwin) Obaseki; Rochas Okorocha and Oshiomhole; Ibikunle Amosun and Oshiomhole; Bola Tinunu
and the cabal; Tinubu and Akinwumi Ambode; Jide Sanwo-Olu and Ambode; Akeredolu and Oshiomhole; Amosun and Tinubu, the list is endless.
Instead of remaining as one united house, our party is busy chasing its own members,” he lamented.
Findings showed that PDP governors are sharply divided on the matter.
While some are in favour of the investigation, others are against it.
An NWC member who did not want his name mentioned, expressed concern that the development has assumed the dimension of a proxy war.
According to him, if the issue is not properly handled, it could lead to the disintegration of the party.
He said while some of the PDP governors were in support of Lawan, other pitched their tent for Ndume.
“The governors sided their preferred candidates and pushed it down the throat of senators in their zones”.
He blamed the NWC for not coming up with its adopted candidates on time. This, he explained, would have prevented what transpired on the eve of the inauguration where some PDP lawmakers openly identified with APC’s endorsed candidates.