The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has launched an audacious move to win to its side 13 All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators-elect as part of a grand design to hijack the leadership of the 9th Senate.
But the alleged plot has leaked to the APC which has launched a counter move of its own to avoid a repeat of the 2015 infiltration of its ranks in the National Assembly by the PDP, highly placed party sources said last night.
The APC is in talks with all its state governors and national leaders to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s choices for the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House who may be named this week.
The party is determined to ensure that none of its members contests against APC’s official candidates for leadership positions in the Senate and the House of Representatives in June.
Another option is a likely waive of the Standing Rules of the two chambers to allow open voting during the election of principal officers to monitor the loyalty of the party’s Senators-elect.
Besides, the APC is discussing with some PDP Senators-elect with a view to giving them the chairmanship of juicy committees.
But some PDP leaders are targeting 13 ‘rebellious’ Senators-elect from the APC to produce the next President of the Senate, Deputy President of the Senate and other principal officers.
If the PDP’s plan sails through it will have on its side about 56 votes for a majority decision leaving APC with 53.
The PDP targets are Senators-elect from Borno, Oyo, Gombe, Bayelsa, Bauchi and Ogun states.
The party is insisting that the Standing Rules do not expressly state that presiding officers must come from the ruling party.
The opposition party said the fact that it has been a convention for the majority party to produce presiding officers does not make it legal or the norm.
Following the APC’s endorsement of Dr. Ahmed Lawan for the position of Senate President, the battle for the Deputy President of the Senate is hitting up between Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta Central ) and the outgoing Deputy Chief Whip of the Red Chamber, Senator Alimikhena Asekhame (Edo North)..
The outgoing Governor of Ogun State, Mr. Ibikunle Amosun is believed to have joined the race for Deputy Senate President even though it was not zoned to the Southwest.