Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
There were strong indications, yesterday, that the emergence of Kingsley Chinda, as minority leader of the Ninth House of Representatives, may have altered zoning of minority positions in the Senate, by by the People’s Democratic Party ( PDP).
Chinda, who represents Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency of Rivers State, was chosen as the House’s minority leader, at a meeting of PDP members and the leadership of the opposition party, in Abuja, last Thursday.
Daily Sun gathered that following the emergence of Chinda, who is from the South South, the party would re-zone the position of Deputy Minority Whip, hitherto zoned to the South South, to the North West.
To this end, Senator Sahabi Yau, a ranking lawmaker from Zamfara, is being tipped to replace senator Clifford Ordia, who had earlier been nominated for the position.
Aside Ordia, others earlier nominated as principal officers for the minority party included Enyinnaya Abaribe, from Abia State (South East), Minority Leader; Emmanuel Bwacha from Taraba ( North East) Deputy Minority leader; Philip Aduda, from the FCT, Minority Whip.
A source said immediate past Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has been mandated by the PDP leadership to reach out to Ordia and others, who may feel aggrieved with the planned reshuffling of minority positions in the National Assembly.
“The decision of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) to replace Odia with Yau was informed by the need to reflect national character and spread in the Minority positions in the senate and the House of Representatives. Accordingly, the party has resolved to appeal to Odia to, in the interest of the country, give up the position to the North West. This is because the South South has two positions, out of the eight positions while the North West was completely shut out.”
Daily Sun also gathered that the PDP leadership wants to ensure that lawmakers who might be aggrieved by the zoning of minority positions in the National Assembly are pacified before the list of its principal officers are sent to the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly.
When contacted, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party is making efforts to ensure that there is no major disagreement over the minority positions.
He said: There are eight minority positions in the senate and House of Representatives. Each geo-political zone will have one slot. And, we have six geo-political zones. Definitely, there will be two zones, that will have extra positions.
“Whatever we agree on, as a party, in agreement with our senators and members of the House of Representatives will be brought to the public. There is no need for speculation.”