Ekweremadu, Melaye, Akinyelure in race for senate minority leader

April 14th, 2019

By Ezeocha Nzeh

While the the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may have given up any hope of staging an upset in June, when the 9th senate will be inaugurated, as it need in 2015, when it helped some ruling APC senators to revolt against the party, senators from the opposition party may have commenced the battle for the Senate minority leader position

The AUTHORITY gathered at the weekend that three Senators elected on the platform of the PDP have commenced secret lobbying of its members as well as the majority APC members for the position

It was gathered that top on the list of PDP senators who are running for the office include incumbent Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu (Enugu West), who is expected to face challenges from Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West) and Senator Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central).

Though the PDP leadership has not come out with a position on its preferred candidate for the position, unlike the APC, which has publicly endorsed Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan for the position of 9th Senate Presidency, The AUTHORITY gathered that the DSP, Ekweremadu may be favoured for the position, in what party stakeholders said would be to appreciate his loyalty to the party

PDP sources also noted that Ekweremadu has not only gathered the experience, having been one of the longest serving senators in the country, but has shown that he would not be intimidated by the ruling party, having shown his doggedness in the face of previous intimidations by the presidency.

But with not be an effortless grab for Ekweremadu, as both Senators Dino Melaye and Ayo Akinyelure have intensified moved to lobby for the seat

Recently, a South West PDP group, The Southwest PDP Frontiers (SWPF), had in a statemet signed by its leader, Asipa Iyanda Adeoye Ogunfojuri and Ameen Adekanye warned the party against repeating what it described as an ill-treatment meted out to the zone during the battle for the PDP national chairmanship.

“We are speaking out early enough to avoid being told that we kept mute when it mattered, for that was what we were told after the Southwest was disgraced out of the PDP national chairmanship race,” they said.

“The position of Minority Leader in the senate is currently being held by the Southwest, and since nothing has changed as regards the zoning at the national level, it shouldn’t be taken away from us.

“It is worrisome to see that the body language of many of our leaders suggests the possibility of the position being used to compensate another zone for whatever reason.

“The Southwest will no longer agree to be sacrificed within the opposition party, more so when we have eminently qualified persons that can serve in the said capacity.” The group said in their statement

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) won a commanding majority of the ninth Senate that will be inaugurated on June 9, 2019.
According to the results officially announced for the February 23 National Assembly elections across the country, APC won 63 seats while the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won 37 seats.

The Young Progressive Party (YPP) is the only other party outside of the two dominant ones that’ll resume to the ninth Senate with only one seat.

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