PDP, APC clash in House of Reps over leadership

The PDP and the APC have upped their campaign to win over more members to be in majority

The House of Representatives descended into chaos Tuesday as lawmakers resumed from a four-week break to face a crisis over which party takes the leadership of the House between the Peoples Democratic Party, which commands at least 171 members, and APC with a minimum of 172 members.

A federal court had on Monday barred the APC, despite its superior number, from taking over the leadership of the house.

But crisis erupted momentarily Tuesday after the Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, addressed the Deputy Majority Leader, Leo Ogor, as Deputy Minority Leader, in a clear message his party will insist on being recognized as the majority.

Mr. Gbajabiamila was contributing to a motion tabled by another member on the crisis in Rivers State, which called for the dismissal of the police chief, Joseph Mbu, in that troubled state.

The deputy leader, Mr. Ogor, had criticized the motion as a potential embarrassment for the house if passed, as the matter concerns security and the police commissioner had not been given fair hearing.

Mr. Gbajabiamila’s remarks drew an angry response from PDP members who insisted the comment be withdrawn. Mr. Gbajabiamila said his remark was a “statement of fact.”

Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, said he was “taken aback” by the remarks as a meeting of the leadership had insisted on calm as the court’s decision had been received by the House.

“As lawmakers, we should be the last, as an institution and as individuals, to disobey a court order,” he said. He asked the members to play politics as politicians but be careful with issues affecting the nation.

At a news briefing later, Mr. Gbajabiamila said the Nigerian House of Representatives was “the only parliament in the world where the minority plays the role of the majority.”

He described the court ruling blocking the APC from the planned change of leadership as “shameless”, but said his party would obey the court while it studies the content of the order.

“We have seen the hand writing on the wall, and it is clear they are trying to stop the inevitable,” Mr. Gbajabiamila said.

Defections

The stormy session ended after Mr. Tambuwal directed the House Committee on Business and Rules to consider the motion with the concerns raised, and advise the House within one week.

But the confrontation was barely surprising after several members defected from the PDP to the APC in December 2013, tipping the majority in favour of the APC and leaving it clear the party will be angling for the leadership on resumption.

To forestall the move, the PDP approached the Court , securing an order stopping the APC from changing the House’s leadership.

But behind the scenes, both parties have upped their effort at convincing more members to switch to their parties as they canvass for a convincing lead to either remain the majority party in the House, or become one.

On Tuesday, the lobby yielded with either parties gaining two extra members apiece.

Haske Hananiya and Ganama Kwaga, both from Adamawa state moved from APC to PDP, while Emmanuel Jime, from Benue state, switched from PDP to APC.

Suleiman Kwande, from Plateau state also moved from Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, to APC.

Minority Leader, Mr. Gbajabiamila, said the APC’s numbers far outweighed what has been quoted in the media as 172, and that already the party surpassed the PDP by at least 20 members. He however said the actual figures would be clear to Nigerians shortly.


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  • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

    Not surprising, in PDP led government 16 is greater than 19 and minority is greater than majority. I hope this will not affect the performance of our primary pupils.

    • The Observer

      The white man should as a matter of urgency update his mathematical and English dictionaries because here in Nigeria 16 is greater than 19 and minority is greater than majority. Everyday new drama unfolds in Nigeria’s political space. I wish it were in the interest of advancing this country in political, technological and economic spheres.

      • omadewu

        u re correct Murtala just like “the born to rule” are the ones without brain

  • BlackieUmukoro

    APC cannot even obey a simple court order. I wonder what they will become should they win the presidential elections. Thank God all the 2014 predictions and prophesies have not pointed to that ominious direction

    • broom

      Bury your head in the ground.
      When has PDP obey court order in the past 15years.
      Whatever PDP does, its certain they are leaving aso rock in 2015…its settled.

      • BlackieUmukoro

        Broom is for sweeping
        Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

        • ESTHER

          Yes O…sweeping bad government,insecurity,poverty,kidnapping,bad economy,militant,corruption,unemployment and throw away to the lagoon neva to be recycle….

          • BlackieUmukoro

            Which Esther are you ? Not in the mode of the biblical Esther, anyway Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

    • ESTHER

      APC have the most intelligent members I have ever seen ..if u watch their members speak in television(sunrise daily…your view…This morning…last week Saturday on devoices at channels the Hausa Man I cant remember his name …made me understand that APC are providing choices for the people of Nigeria and other politician that are been maltreated by their party….the point they make are so strong because it judge with reality that u neva want them to stop talking…Look how far they present the case of the limitation of the right of individual in abroad people will be in protest not even the court can stop them if they win these 2015 surely non will surly go unpunished for wrong doing…

      • BlackieUmukoro

        Yes, you are right, the APC guys are intelligent mugus
        Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

  • AAA

    The claim of 16 being greater 19 is beginning to confuse our children. And today the same shameless people are claiming minority as greater than majority.

    • Okey

      You do not become majority by suicide method. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is clear on this matter, Femi Gbaja cannot adopt the Boko Haram Method to it. Legally, the 37 or 137 that purportedly decamped from various parties to APC MUSTVACATE THEIR SEATS, go back to their constituencies, participate in a bye-election under APC platform, win and return to the House of Reps to claim CONSTITUTIONAL MAJORITY. Unless, this one and only route is taken,Femi Gbaja and co cannot become majority through anarchy more so when they (purported decammpees) were the first to approach the court.

      • Issei

        Okey.the barrister may be your degree is from university of otuake,that’s y your are interpreting the nigerian constitution off side down.

        • Okey

          You don’t need anybody to deceive you on this in the name “barrister” Femi Gbaja; that na lie. Approach the newspaper vendors, buy the Constitution and read, the matter will become plain to you.

          • Issei

            Bros the constitution says you can defect anytime there is division or merger in your present political party,of course we all know there is division in PDP,if you said no,then why did Bamanga resigned?or didn’t you hear even mr president admitting that yes there is division in the party and he went on to say that the new PDP chairman must work hard and bring all warring FACTION to a round table and discuss with a view to resolving and bringing back the defected members back to PDP if possible,we have all the videos and speech clips,starting from the work out at the eagle square in august last year,the lgal fire work will drag upto the supreme court.

          • Okey

            No, brother, “division in PDP” is now fiction; it exists only in dreams. Once they were unable to sustain “nPDP” and rushed into APC, any question of division dies. Mark you, even attempts through the courts and INEC to get “nPDP” recognized equally failed. So “faction” now exists only in dreamland.

            Read the Constitution I referred you to, the one and only option left for any defecting member of PDP in NASS is resignation and re-contesting under his new party, APC. They know this constitutional huddle very well that’s why they want to achieve their aim through the BH method.

            Bamanga resignation is none issue, the resignation of any chairman does not mean “faction”.

          • ESTHER

            Oga u can cross carpet when there is division which u admit yourself…so their seat cannot be made vacant…also if the BABA BAMANGA happens to the only problem in the PDP why have they not return..?the fact still remain there is more to the problem of the PDP ..Turkur was a tip of the issue….

          • Okey

            On cross-carpeting, you said earlier that “APC have close to 45% of SAN”. That is all the reason why we insist they must follow the law, not the BH method.

            Yes, PDP has its own problems just as APC has ship-loads of problems whether in Ogun where they are shooting themselves dead and threatening more fire and brimstone, Kwara, Adamawa, Kano or Sokoto. And remember, they are yet to cross the huddle of selecting a presidential candidate which many believe it is hard to find a nationally accepted figure amongst them.

      • ESTHER

        Oga why is cross carpecting a big deal when Obanikoro did his own cross carpecting u were very much alive now that it have affected your party you want to talk..APC have close to 45% of SAN as a member so they are very much aware of the law and the constitutional policy as you say… unlike you GEJ that try to remove Sanusi when his tenure have not ended because he smell corruption in the family people section NNPC…

        • Okey

          2 trillion wrongs do not make a right. If Obanikoro cross-carpeted, it was the duty of his party to petition the Senate to declare his seat vacant. If the Senate refuses, the party could go to court to enforce their right. Please, remind me that AD exercised any of these options.

          I am hearing from you that Jonathan wants Sanusi removed, there is no Federal Govt memo or notice to effect yet. But if Jonathan is desperate as you want me to believe, he can suspend him from office without terminating him. He has that power. He would only need the Senate if he wants his termination. So, I cannot debate that issue further as it still remains “beer parlour talk”

          Thank goodness, you acknowledge that “APC have close to 45% of SAN”. That is all the reason why we insist they must follow the law, not the BH method.

  • Okey

    The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is clear on this matter, Femi Gbaja cannot adopt the Boko Haram Method to it. Legally, the 37 or 137 that purportedly decamped from various parties to APC MUST VACATE THEIR SEATS, go back to their constituencies, participate in a bye-election under APC platform, win and return to the House of Reps to claim CONSTITUTIONAL MAJORITY. Unless, this one and only route is taken, Femi Gbaja and co cannot become majority through anarchy more so when they (purported decammpees) were the first to approach the court.

  • Tufiakwa

    How can APC with “171” of the 360-member House be the majority? 360 minus 171 = 189; Since PDP works in accord with the other parties and since 189 > 171, the answer: “Not Possible.” This is “news” only because most Nigerian journalists cannot count anything not inside a brown envelope and our “honourable members,” AKA politicians, cannot count anything without the dollar ($) sign in front of it.

    • Abubakar MB

      What about the other opposition parties silly, it is not only PDP and APC that shared the 360 seats.

      • Gbabestic biggy.

        I tire 4 him oo

      • Gbabestic biggy.

        I tire 4 him oo

  • Olu

    PREMIUM TIMES PLS PUBLISH THIS.

    Amaechi, others can’t be APC states’ leaders – Shekarau

    A former Governor of Kano State and a leader of the All Progressives Congress, Ibrahim Shekarau, said on Tuesday in Kaduna that there was no ‘agreement’ between the five Peoples Democratic Party governors that defected to the APC and his party to make them leaders of the party in their various states.

    Shekarau, on a Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria Kaduna’s Hausa programme,Hanu da yawa monitored in the state capital, said there was no existing agreement with the G-5 governors and the leadership of the APC to become automatic leaders of the party in their states.

    He challenged the leadership of the APC to produce such an agreement, saying that the governors could not lead the party in the states.

    The G-5 governors that defected to the APC from the PDP are – Murtala Nyako(Adamawa); Musa Kwankwaso(Kano); Aliyu Wamako(Sokoto); Abdulfattah Ahmed(Kwara); and Rotimi Ameachi(Rivers).

    He noted that there was no meeting where such an agreement was reached that the defected governors from the PDP should be automatically made leaders of APC in their states.

    Shekarau, who is also a presidential candidate of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party in the 2011 general elections, added that he wouldn’t have disputed the idea if it had followed the due process or if all the party leaders had met to agree on it.

    He said, “I challenged our northern APC chairman Bello Masari to tell us the time, date and at what meeting it was agreed that the said state governors should be made chairmen of the party in their states. Is it at a meeting of 35 party members which was never held or was it at a meeting of party elders?

    “Our National Chairman, Bisi Akande, only went with a few APC governors to meet with some PDP leaders and now they are talking of an agreement. Let him (Masari) provide the copy of the said agreement to newsmen to enable the public to know the content of the agreement and where it was agreed upon.”

    Shekarau, who expressed concern over the development, explained that before he and other aggrieved members of the party complained on the said agreement, he had sought clarification from some party elders who told him there was no such an agreement.

    But when contacted, the Interim National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said there was a subsisting agreement, to allow governors drive the process in the states.

    He said, “We did agree with the new PDP governors that whatever rights our APC governors enjoy they would enjoy and prior to their coming, we agreed that governor in our states would drive the process and that the governors in the states would appoint interim chairmen.

    “To that extent whatever our governors enjoy as soon as they became APC governors they will enjoy them and nobody can deny that.”

    Copyright PUNCH.
    All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

    Contact: editor@punchng.com

    • ESTHER

      oga these ur report i have read in the news neither the newspaper or the all mighty SAHARA REPORTERS so pls it you are a paid fraudulent reporter try and seek a job else where i know unemployment is hard but these one will not favor you.

  • Olu

    Bafarawa, Marwa, Shekarau to form New APC —Kwara chapter •May face expulsion as APC NEC meets tomorrow

    Written by Taiwo Adisa, Lanre Adewole and Hassan Ibrahim

    Wednesday, 22 January 2014 00:00

    A faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to be known as New APC (nAPC), will soon be launched across the country, the Kwara State chapter of the party has said.

    The party, in a statement on Tuesday, declared that like minds in APC in different states of the federation had concluded plan to launch the New APC, to safeguard the ship of the party from sinking.

    A statement by the interim state chairman of the party in Kwara State, Reverend Bunmi Olusona, indicated that leaders of the party, including General Mohammed Buba Marwa, Attahiru Bafarawa, Ibrahim Shekarau and Mohammed Dele Belgore, were working to prevent imminent implosion in the party.

    Proponents of the faction, however, pleaded with their members in Kwara not to be in a hurry to leave the party.

    It stated its plan to launch the New APC would surely bring succour to the members.

    “We also warn our members not to participate in any membership registration exercise organised and supervised by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed-led government or agent like Alhaji Lai Mohammed,” the statement read.

    It rejected plans by party leaders to cede structures of the party in the states to new entrants, adding that a number of party members were asking the question about the bastardisation of the progressive ideology of the party.

    Meanwhile, as the interim National Executive Committee (NEC) of APC meets in Abuja tomorrow over the crisis rocking the party, ranking members contesting party structures in their respective states with sitting governors that defected from PDP may be considered for outright expulsion.

    Shekarau, Bafarawa, Marwa and Belgore were the likely heavyweight casualties.

    The national leadership of APC said it recognised the defected governors as leaders of the party in their states, a development that the old members of the party had been contesting.

    Several peace and reconciliation meetings called by the party leaderships at different levels had failed to resolve the crisis-of-confidence.

    It was learnt that the move by the aggrieved leaders to polarise the party by launching a faction to be known as New APC had prompted the national leaders to tackle the growing dissent once and for all, by expelling the disgruntled leaders at its NEC meeting tomorrow.

    A senior member of the party told the Nigerian Tribune that the national leadership of the party had hints of the planned polarisation of the party by the disgruntled leaders, long before the plan came into public knowledge and had been preparing for the day they would come into the open with their plan.

    Accusing those behind the nAPC as being driven by inordinate ambition, the source disclosed that their plan was to balkanise the party before moving out with their supporters to PDP.
    When contacted, APC spokesperson, Lai Mohammed, said the party would rather wait for the move before commenting.

    Shekarau, however, said the G5 governors that defected from PDP to APC could not be automatic leaders of the party in their respective states.

    This was as he challenged anyone to come forward with any written agreement that conferred leadership on the governors.

    On a Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Kaduna Hausa programme, Hanu da yawa, monitored on Tuesday, he insisted that there was nothing like “agreement” with the governors to make them chairmen/leaders of the party in their states.

    According to him, there was no meeting where such discussion was reached, while he challenged Honourable Bello Masari to tell the time, date and at what meeting the agreement was reached.

  • Olu

    senator Abe’s antics exposed in london-queried by docs in england

    senator abe
    British Health Authority Queries Senator Abe’s Entry Health Certificate
    There was no trace of injury on him neither was there any treatment given to him apart from Antipyretic, an unknown drug”. **”he is in a ward where people with shock are kept, not even emergency ward or wards for people that have bullet wounds”. The British Health Authorities have expressed their anger with Nigeria Medical Team and officers that examined and signed the result and the Health certificate that enabled Senator Magnus Abe to be flown into the United Kingdom. One of the Health Team member, who saw Senator Abe in the London Bridge Hospital, queried, “what kind of medical practitioners do they have in Nigeria to have issued a health certificate to a man that was not sick or injured?”

  • Gbabestic biggy.

    Now I know why our country is lyk this when it comes to the issue of mathematics-in-politics where 35-19=16 but 16-19=3 bcos 16>19 and 5hons can impeach gov against 22. What a country

  • Dan Bahaushiya

    172 is now less than 171