Automatic Ticket: PDP Senators In Fresh Battle with Party, Presidency
A fresh moves by governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to block the automatic ticket promised to serving PDP senators by the party leadership and the presidency last week may have ignited another round of battle in the party.
The PDP senators had last week shunned legislative activities over the alleged hijack of the recent ward congresses of the party by the governors and the tacit approval of automatic ticket for some of them who were completing their second term in office to go to the senate.
But i a bid to prevent the action of the senators from degenerating into what could deplete the fortunes of the party, President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu Muazu held a closed door meeting with the senator at the presidential villa in Abuja.
At the end of the meeting last Friday,
Although, the senators after the meeting, refused to brief the press, close sources revealed that the lawmakers resolved to renew their agitation with the party as well as shut down the national assembly following indications that the party and the Presidency would go back on the agreement with the lawmakers due to pressures from the governors.
Sources in the National Assembly confirmed on Wednesday that PDP governors held a meeting with President Jonathan after his formal declaration on Tuesday where the governors urged the President to take another look at the issue of automatic tickets to Senators.
The source said that the governors insisted that instead of granting 40 automatic tickets to Senators, the governors should be allowed to take up the issue and review it on a state by state basis.
It was further gathered that since the ward congresses were conducted, most of the PDP governors had been spending most of their time in Abuja, lobbying the party’s leadership to reverse any position taken in favour of the senators especially on the automatic ticket.
It was gathered that the Senators saw the move by the Governors as a fresh move to outwit them and short-change the lawmakers.
The source further said that the Senators were suspicious of the plan by the governors and resolved to send Senate President David Mark to the President and the party.
The source said, “We were told at the meeting that governors met with the President late on Tuesday and resolved that the party should allow them review the issue of automatic tickets to the governors on a state by state basis instead of granting automatic tickets to the Senators just like that. We see this as a ploy to outwit the senators and undermine our agreement with President Jonathan and the party.
“We believe that the move by the Governors is a fresh bid to short-change the lawmakers and reverse the conclusion of the meeting we held with the President and the party. Senators are not happy and I can tell you that a number of people are already contemplating ditching the party.”
The source further hinted that 11 Senators of the PDP from the North West have threatened to dump the party in view of what was considered high handedness of the party.
The source at the meeting also said that the Senators who frowned at the development lamented that ticket of the PDP was fast becoming a “poisoned chalice” in the zone and that the treatment being meted out to them by the governors was further compounding the situation.
It was gathered that the Senators decided to strengthen the hands of David Mark by asking him to take up the matter and brief them regularly.
Another source said that the senate unanimously said, “If care is not taken, the PDP could become a minority in the Senate before the end of the year. The danger again is that going back and forth on agreements reached with the highest organs of the PDP is painting a bad picture of the party.”
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