There are indications that conflicts of personal interest disorganized the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the election of the Senate President and the Deputy Senate President of the Ninth National Assembly on Tuesday. Some PDP members are beginning to make insinuations that the former Deputy Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, may have traded off the PDP leadership for his unsuccessful re-election another term as deputy senate president in the Ninth Assembly.
This was insinuated to have cost the PDP the cohesion that the party needed to ensure the victory of the adopted candidate for the senate president at the election in the senate on Tuesday. The PDP lost over 29 senators to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election of the Senate President at the inauguration of the National Assembly.
Senator Ali Ndume who was defeated by Ahmad Lawan secured 28 votes while the winner, Lawan got 79 votes in the election which 107 senators participating in the voting. PDP won 44 senate seats in the 2019 general elections and they were all present at the inauguration of the National Assembly on Tuesday.
In the election of the deputy senate president in which 105 senators voted, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege defeated Ekweremadu with 68 votes to 37. The Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, who supervised the election in the senate, announcing the result, noted that one senator abstained from voting while one vote was invalid.
In the deputy senate president election lost by Ekweremadu, the PDP candidate got additional votes more than the votes of the endorsed candidate in the senate presidential election.
There were reports that in the horse trading within the last 72 hours, the emergent Senate President Lawan held meeting with Ekweremadu and some PDP senators mobilizing their support for the election on Tuesday, with promise of prominent appointments.
After that meeting, the PDP leadership held a meeting on Monday evening with party governors and the newly elected federal lawmakers where the party endorsed Ali Ndume for senate president.
PDP Presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, was said to have provided strong support for the party, as well as encouraging the lawmakers to vote Ndume.
The former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, was said to be also deeply involved in the arrangements to offset the ruling APC in the election of the presiding officers of the National Assembly.
In all the negotiations, Ekweremadu was central in the agreement for deputy senate president. Thus, from the PDP and Lawan template, the deputy senate president slot was reserved for Ekweremadu despite APC endorsement of Ovie Omo-Agege for deputy senate president.
The PDP went with all the 44 senators while APC had two senators absent at the inauguration. Joining Senator Ali Ndume, PDP went into the election with 45 senators and needed additional eight senators to make history and defeat the APC candidate. Ironically, the party couldn’t even hold its own let alone winning support from the opponent.
National Daily inquiry found that Ekweremadu’s pursuit of self interest distracted the PDP senators from moving in one decision in line with the party’s decision, including the influence of Atiku and Saraki.
National Daily investigation also revealed that PDP suffered latent disagreement from within in response to the Ekweremadu’s project after he had been deputy senate president for 12 years; worked eight years with David Mark and four years with Saraki.
Party sources told National Daily that PDP leadership will meet later to review what transpired in the election of presiding officers of the National Assembly on Tuesday.