War in PDP Over Outgoing Governors’ Ambition
The tension in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over Senatorial seats in 2015 heightened as some of the incumbent Senators have vowed not to vacate their seats for the outgoing governors.
The new reality may have threatened the ambition of at least 10 of the PDP governors to go to the Senate after their second term tenure.
The party was also in a fix following the proposal from the leadership of the National Assembly that some experienced Senators should be allowed to return to their seats to guide the incoming ones in 2015.
The President of the Senate, Chief David Mark, was said to have recommended the retention of at least one experienced Senator per state to avert the Senate starting afresh.
The Senate left a window for the retention of at least 36 out of the PDP Senators.
But the crisis has also extended to Bayelsa State where all members of the National Assembly have lost out.
None of the Senators and members of the House of Representatives will return in 2015
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that some of the Senators have told the party leadership that they will not step aside for their governors who had been using state machinery to oppress them.
It was learnt that attempts to iron out the stalemate in the last 72 hours had left some of the governors stranded as they could not obtain nomination forms.
Some of the governors have opted for automatic slots instead of facing the incumbent Senators in primaries.
The ‘war’ fronts are Enugu, Kebbi, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Plateau, Abia, Niger and Cross River State.
The most pronounced crises are in Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Niger, and Cross River where PDP leadership is insisting on the return of the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, because of “good performance and quality representation.”
A party source said: “We have a challenge at hand because some incumbent Senators are resisting alleged moves to hijack their seats by governors who are seeking automatic senatorial slots.
“We have been managing this because about 10 governors are demanding automatic Senate tickets including from the districts where we know the Senators have performed.
“Some other governors have sought to impose Senatorial candidates.
They are asking the party to leave the nominees for senate to them. We cannot do such a thing.
“The situation is compounded by the fact that most of our former governors who went to the Senate, after completing two terms in office, have been rated “very low” in attendance and performance.
Asked of the alternative, the source added: “The PDP is discussing with these governors to avoid losing some Senatorial seats.”
Meanwhile, the National Assembly leadership has advised the presidency and the PDP to allow some experienced Senators to return to their seats in 2015.
According to a reliable source, the President of the Senate, Chief David Mark, was said to have recommended at least the retention of at least one experienced Senator per state to avert the Senate starting afresh.
The source said: “Mark has suggested the need to have high-ranking Senators back in 2015 instead of greenhorns who may spend up to one year to know what to do.
“Some of these experienced Senators will also be able to head strategic committees. The Senate President believes that the nation does not need to be going forward and back all the time.
“Mark has asked the party to allow at least one experienced Senator in each state to be retained for effective legislature.”
As governors and Senators tried to iron out their differences, findings showed that all the eight members of the National Assembly have lost the battle to return to their seats in 2015.
Some of the National Assembly members were seen complaining loudly to their colleagues during the week.
It was gathered that they felt “used and dumped” by the party.
The affected members of the National Assembly are Senators Emmanuel Paulker (Bayelsa Central); Heineken Lokpobiri (Bayelsa West) and Clever Ikisikpo (Bayelsa East).
Others are Foingha Jephthah (Nembe/ Brass); Henry Ofongo (Southern Ijaw); Warman Ogoriba (Yenegoa/Kolokuma-Opokuma); Dr. Stella Dorgu
(Sagbama/Ekeremor) and Nadu Karibo (Ogbia).
A source said: “They are all not coming back because most of them have spent two terms in office. The power rotation formula in the state needs to be respected.
“Although Stella Dorgu just spent a term, it is assumed that she only came to complete the second term tenure of Governor Henry Seriake-Dickson.
“Some of these Senators and House members are certainly unhappy, but we need to give others a chance to contribute.”
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