PDP Plot To Scuttle APC’s Move to Resolve House Committee Crisis
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is mobilizing its members in the House of Representatives for a possible showdown with the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) over moves by the APC national Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun to intervene in the crisis sparked by the recent constitution of the House standing committees.
House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila and his supporters claim they and the APC were short changed by Speaker Yakubu Dogara in the appointment of chairmen and vice chairmen for the committees.
Dogara, according to them, conceded too many positions to the PDP, and therefore want a redress.
The matter has already reached Odigie-Oyegun who, according to party sources, is disposed to intervening in the matter.
This, it was gathered, is now generating concern among PDP Reps who are crying external interference in the business of the Green Chamber of the National Assembly.
The APC National Chairman has reportedly met separately with Dogara and Gbajabiamila to discuss the bad blood caused by the sharing of the committee positions although no settlement has been reached yet.
Of the 96 Standing Committee chairmen and their deputies appointed, the APC got 48 to PDP’s 45. The APC also got 55 Deputy chairmen while the PDP caucus was given 39.
The Speaker has consistently rejected calls to review the list of committee heads in a way that gives the APC a comfortable hold on the leadership House.
It was gathered that the APC national chairman had parleyed with Dogara and his deputy, Yussuf Lasun, hours after he earlier met and discussed at length with the Majority Leader at his Abuja residence. Both meetings, according to reliable sources, centered on possible ways of resolving the lingering crisis.
One of the sources said: “It is very correct that the national chairman hosted and discussed with the Speaker and his Deputy. The duo came on the invitation of Chief Oyegun. They discussed the crisis generated by the sharing of the standing committees of the House of Representatives and sought possible ways of ending the crisis.”
The Chairman had earlier met with Gbajabiamila who complained that he was not involved in the composition of the committees. The meeting also discussed allegations that the APC was not adequately catered for in the composition of the committees.
It was gathered that both meetings proffered ways of settling the rift between the two camps amicably before the inauguration of the standing committees this week by the Speaker.
“Following the two parleys, I want to believe that the issues raised will be addressed and resolved before the inauguration of the standing committees. Given the dispositions of all the parties at the meetings with the national chairman, it is convenient to say truce is in sight over the matter,” our source added.
But the PDP, according to reliable party sources, has instructed its members in the House to get ready to resist any external interference in the affairs of the Green chamber.
It was learnt that following reports of Odigie-Oyegun’s meeting with Dogara and Gbajabiamila, the leadership of the opposition party met with the PDP caucus in the House and urged them to reject any move by the leadership of the APC to resolve the crisis generated by the sharing of committee headships.
A source familiar with the development said:”worried that the APC might browbeat the Speaker into altering the composition of the committees, the PDP had called on its caucus in the House to resist all forms of external interference in the activities of the lower chamber. The call was made in Abuja when the leadership of the party met with some PDP legislators on the matter.
“While we are not interested in what transpired at the meetings, it is important to say that the PDP will not fold its hands and watch the APC interfere in the businesses of the national assembly at random by dishing out instructions to the leadership of the House on how to conduct its affairs.
“Concerning the composition of the committees, we want to believe the Speaker gave a good account of himself and he should stick with that. The leadership of our party recently raised the alarm on the need for us as federal legislators to prevent external interference in the running of the lower chamber. We intend to see to that.”