The planned meeting between President Bola Tinubu and the members-elect of the minority parties in the National Assembly has been postponed till Thursday.
The meeting was initially scheduled for Monday between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the State House, Abuja. However, PREMIUM TIMES gathered that it had been postponed, though no reason was not given for the postponement.
Ikenga Ugochinyere, a member-elect from Imo State, confirmed the postponement of the planned meeting to this paper during an interview.
Instead, Mr Tinubu met with former Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, former Governor and Senator-elect, David Umahi from Ebonyi State and Godswill Akpabio, the endorsed aspirant for the Senate Presidency at the Villa.
Mr Tinubu is backing Mr Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa-Ibom State and the current senator for Kano North, Barau Jibrin, for the positions of senate president and deputy senate president.
In the House of Representatives, he has also endorsed Tajudeen Abbas from Kaduna and Ben Kalu from Abia State for speaker and deputy speaker.
However, in the two chambers, Mr Tinubu’s preferred candidates are being challenged by other aspirants in the race. In the Senate, Osita Izunaso, Orji Kalu and Abdulaziz Yari have yet to accept the president’s decision.
In the House, Deputy Speaker Idris Wase, Muktar Betara, Yusuf Gagdi, Sada Soli, Aminu Jaji, and Miriam Onuoha have formed a coalition to challenge Mr Abbas.
Mr Tinubu’s desire to meet the opposition lawmakers-elect ahead of the 13 June inauguration of both chambers may not be unconnected with his desire to ensure the victory of Messrs Akpabio, Jibrin, Abbas and Kalu due to the situation in both chambers where the ruling party does not have an absolute majority.
In the 109-member Senate, apart from the APC with 59 seats, there are six other opposition parties represented. They are PDP 36, LP 8, SDP 2, NNPP 2, YPP 1 and APGA 1, bringing the total to 50.
The situation is more dicey in the House, considering that the six minority parties have more seats than APC. Out of the 360-member lower chamber, APC has 178 seats while the minorities have the following; PDP 114 seats, LP 35, NNPP 19, APGA 5, ADC 2, SDP 2 and YPP 1, totalling 182.
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