As the 10th assembly’s inauguration and presiding officers’ elections approach on June 13, federal lawmakers are ramping up their lobbying efforts. Debo Ologunagba, the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), suggests that the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), might encounter an unexpected outcome.
Recall that the APC has 59 senators-elect, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has 36, LP has eight, NNPP has two, SDP two, APGA one, and YPP one, and is backing Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom Northwest) for Senate President.
The APC has also endorsed Abbas Tajudeen (Zaria Federal Constituency, Kaduna State) as Speaker for the House of Reps.
In the House of Representatives, APC has 178 members, PDP has 117 and other parties have 65.
President Bola Tinubu, has met with the senators-elect and House of Representatives members-elect twice in the last 48 hours to drum up support for the candidates endorsed by the party ahead of the June 13 inauguration of the National Assembly and election of presiding officers.
He met with APC Federal lawmakers on Wednesday and with all of them, that is, the ruling party and opposition members, yesterday.
He said the zoning proposed by the party for the election of the presiding offices is in line with the current reality of a same-faith presidency, which necessitates a Christian Senate President.
However, two of the contenders – Abdulaziz Yari and Orji Uzor Kalu – were absent at the meeting, an indication that they are pressing ahead with their mission.
Two other senators supporting Yari, one from the Southwest and another from the Northeast, also did not show up.
Reacting to the parley, Ologunagba, told reporters that all the opposition parties constitute a majority.
He said this numerical strength will be deployed to frustrate the APC’s plans to dominate the National Assembly leadership.
Ologunagba said: “The PDP leadership is working together with our members-elect and opposition parties.
“Irrespective of the ongoing 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.
“In all, we do not discountenance the fact that put together, the opposition parties have the majority in the National Assembly which we are ready to deploy maximally.”
Meanwhile, National Chairman of Labour Party (LP) Barrister Julius Abure has said the party will decide on who to support as presiding officers of the National Assembly this weekend.