By Temitope Owotoki
There are strong indications that the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is yet to take decisions on the leadership positions of the ninth National Assembly as it is tactically leaving its National Assembly caucus to decide on its own.
This came to light during the Wednesday meeting in Abuja between members of the National Working Committee of the party led by its National Chairman, Uche Secondus, and members of the ninth National Assembly elected on the platform of the party.
Even though the meeting was initially called to congratulate the lawmakers-elect and also discuss the election of principal officers for the ninth National Assembly with them, sources at the meeting said there was no decision was taken on who of the aspiring All Progressive Congress (APC) candidates the PDP members should support.
Secondus, who addressed the newly-elected lawmakers on behalf of the NWC, congratulated them for surviving what he called “the onslaught of the All Progressives Congress and the security agencies against them” and urged them to be resolute and united to enable it to play the role of an opposition party in the country.
A source at the meeting said the party did not take any decision on candidates to support for the position of the President of the Senate between the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan and Senator Ali Ndume nor for the House of Representatives Speakership whioch contest is between Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, Mohammed Bago (Niger State), Mr Abdulrazak Namdas (Adamawa State) and Mr John Dyegh from Benue State.
“Though the issue of who to support for the positions of the President of the Senate, Deputy President of the Senate, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives was raised at the meeting, we did not deal with it as much.
“The chairman told us to go back and study those aspiring and that, as a caucus, we should arrive at a conclusion that we would all be proud of. He said neither himself nor the party would impose anyone on us,” said one of the lawmakers who attended the meeting.
The PDP lawmakers were also given the liberty to go and elect their leaders for the exclusive minority leadership positions in the National Assembly.
After the meeting, Secondus affirmed that PDP was set to play a crucial role in the election of the presiding officers of the National Assembly as APC members, being members of the majority political party in the National Assembly, were expected to only unilaterally elect the chief whip, deputy chief whip, majority and deputy majority leaders but mot those of the general leadership.
“It was a meeting aimed at fraternising with our lawmakers-elect. We met to discuss many things. We also discussed the leadership of the ninth National Assembly as raised by some of our members, but we did not take any decision,” he said.
He also confimed that the party has not zoned any of its leadership positions in the National Assembly. h