Senate Presidency: Our Members Can Also Contest 'If Need Be', PDP Tells APC
Nigerian Senate

Nigeria’s main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says its elected members can vie for the positions of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives ‘if need be.’

The party made this known in reaction to comments by national chairman of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, that his party would not share power with the opposition in the 9th National Assembly.

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Concise News understands that APC has already endorsed current Majority Leader in the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, and his equivalent in the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, for the abovementioned positions in the incoming assembly.

It was learned that the mentioned lawmakers were endorsed for the roles during a meeting, which was held on Monday, March 25, involving the leadership of the party, President Muhammadu Buhari and senators elected on its platform.

But the PDP said Tuesday that its elected lawmakers were constitutionally eligible to seek election into any presiding office of both chambers of the National Assembly.

“It is therefore laughable and amounts to empty grandstanding and self-delusion for President Muhammadu Buhari and the factional National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, to posture as if the presiding offices and Committee Chairmanship in the National Assembly are exclusive rights of the APC,” it said in a statement.

It continued, “President Buhari and Oshiomhole should wake up to the fact that the National Assembly belongs to no political party but to all Nigerians, who exercise their control through their elected representatives.

“For emphasis, Section 50 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is clear in providing that “There shall be:- (a) a President and a Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves; and (b) a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.

“Section 92 (1) makes the same provision for the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of State House of Assembly.

“The PDP, therefore, does not only have a constitutional say in the process of the emergence of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly but will, as a matter of constitutional right, field candidates into presiding offices of both chambers, if need be.”