Senators pledges support for new chairman
On the day 11 senators elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, served the upper legislative chamber a notice of their plan to leave the party, its national chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, held an urgent closed door meeting with their remaining colleagues.
The meeting held at the official residence of the Senate President, David Mark in Abuja was also attended by some of the party’s governors and members of the National Working Committee, NWC.
The governors cited at the meeting include Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Theodore Orji (Abia) and Babangida Aliyu (Niger).
Others are Idris Wada (Kogi), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Shehu Shema (Katsina), Ramalan Yero (Kaduna) and acting Governor Garba Umar (Taraba).
The Deputy Governor of Sokoto State, Mukhtar Shagari, and his Jigawa State counterpart were also in attendance.
Members of the NWC sighted at the meeting were Uche Secondus (Deputy National Chairman), Wale Oladipo (National Secretary), Kema Chikwe (Woman Leader) and Olisa Metuh (National Publicity Secretary).
Although the agenda of the meeting held at the official residence of the Senate President was not known, it was gathered that it was not unconnected with the defection of the 11 senators and how to resolve the raging crisis in the party.
The senators had earlier on Wednesday during the plenary session submitted a letter to the Senate President, David Mark, informing him about their intention to defect to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Those who signed the letter were Bukola Saraki, Danjuma Goje, Abdullahi Adamu, Shaba Lafiagi, Mohammed Ndume, Magnus Abe, Wilson Ake, Bindo Jubrilla, Abdullahi Gobir and Alhassan Aisha Jummai.
Five others listed in the letter did not append their signatures. They are Saidu Alkali, Basheer Mohammed, Ahmed Zanna, Ahmed Barata and Mohammed Maccido.
None of the 11 lawmakers who indicated their plan to defect to APC attended the meeting.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, said they would be loyal to the new leadership of the PDP.
“I pledge that in us, the PDP senate caucus, you will find very loyal party men and women. We will work with you, we will stay by you, we will partner with you to reinvent PDP,” he said.
A similar parley was held with the PDP Caucus in the House of Representatives on Tuesday night.
At the meeting, the House Leader, Mulikat Akande canvassed automatic tickets for the party’s lawmakers in the 2015 general elections.
The PDP had lost 37 of its members to the APC last December.
Mr. Mu’azu also met with 14 PDP governors on Wednesday at the party’s secretariat in Abuja.
The national chairman told the governors who were on a solidarity visit to him to help plead with five of their colleagues who decamped to the APC to return. The decampee governors are Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rabi’u Kwankwaso (Kano) and Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara).
Since assuming duty about 10 days ago, the PDP national chairman has not hidden his desire to have all the defectors back in the ruling party.