By Uche Mbah
Despite having the numbers to cause upsets at the coming National Assembly election of principal officers for the 9th assembly, the Peoples democratic Party, PDP has been conspiratorially silent on their position, fueling speculations that they may have an ace up their sleeves.
In 2015, the PDP created an upset which, this Magazine was told, if they had wanted to take the senate Presidency they could have done so. But Senator David Mark, then immediate past senate president, declined at the last minute when it was agreed that Bukola Saraki would later decamp to the PDP from the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Fears are that the PDP may be planning such upsets.
The National Assembly standing rules say that the Senate/House of representatives should elect principal officers from “among themselves”. There was no legal backing to partisan endorsement of candidates.
But the alleged pocketing of the other arms of government by the Executive Arm seem to create an atmosphere of fear that any one that goes against the candidates of the Presidency may become targets of witch hunts through legal means and anti graft agencies.
The Presidency has already endorsed Ahmed Lawan for Senate President and the alleged Mace snatcher, Ovie Omo Agege, for Senate Presidency and Deputy Senate Presidency respectively.
Ali Ndume, once allegedly docked for the sponsorship of Boko Haram, is also in the race, making the contest, if opposition politicians are to be believed, a contest of questionable politicians. But their supporters dismiss these allegations on grounds that there has been no proof and no convictions.
For the House of representatives, Femi Gbajiabiamila is the candidate for the presidency. But there has been rumors, purportedly spread by the opposition to test the intentions of the immediate past Speaker of the house, Yakubu Dogara, that he is interested in the position again. But there is definitely going to be surprises, with Gbajabiamila losing the position, according to inside sources. There are rumors he may be unseated by former chairman, committee on NIMASA, Umar Bago, from Niger, if the El-Rufai pressure camp wins through.
The PDP has been holding series of meetings in recent times towards the run up of the NASS elections. Although the meetings were officially premised on the deteriorating security situations in the country, it is believed that it was a crucial part of the agenda of the last meeting of PDP governors with stakeholders. The next important issue, this Magazine was told, was the court case instituted by the Presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, against the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC.
The case is still at its preliminary stage as the substantive suit is yet to begin.
It is known, however, that despite the fait-accompli posture of the APC, there is palpable fear on the surprises expected to be sprung this time by the PDP. The relocation of Bola Ahmed Tinubu to his Abuja home for weeks now has a lot to do with it. This magazine’s visit to Bourdilon Road in Ikoyi Lagos, saw it as a ghost place. It used to be a market place of sorts if Tinubu is around. Now, his house in Abuja has become the new Mecca.