The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has planned to meet this week and deliberate upon their position on the leadership of the Ninth National Assembly.
According to information received on Sunday, big guns in the party are expected to grace the meeting where the crucial decisions would be taken.
Those expected to be at the meeting are members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), led by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus; lawmakers-elect for the Ninth National Assembly; outgoing principal officers of the Eighth National Assembly who are members of the party and some selected members of the party’s National Executive Council.
At the meeting, both the outgoing President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; and outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, are expected to lead the discourse on quality of personalities the party will prefer to succeed them.
“The party’s national leadership will carry everyone along in the decision-making concerning the issue,” a party member informed newsmen.
Recall that two APC members in the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and Ali Ndume, have openly declared their intention to succeed Saraki as the President of the Senate just as a former Governor of Gombe State, Senator Danjuma Goje, is also speculated to be interested.
In the House of Representatives, APC also has six contestants for the speakership position. They are; Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos), Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (Abia), John Dyegh (Benue) Mohammed Bago (Niger), Olatunbosun Olajide (Oyo) and Segun Odebunmi (Oyo).
Though there speculations that PDP may direct its lawmakers-elect to support a particular candidate in the contest, a source within the party said “We will be guided by the analysis or the briefs we will receive on the aspirants. Their pedigree will also be useful in the decision we will take on them.
“Why we are not going to impose any decision on the lawmakers is because they are the ones that will work with their leaders, what we will do is just to be guided and make sure that we go into the election with one voice.
“We want to approach the issue as a political party and also to be sure that the interests of Nigerians are well protected.”
The Spokesperson for the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, confirmed the planned meeting by the party’s national leadership to meet on the development.
According to him, the party’s leadership would meet separately with their members in the Senate and House of Representatives.
Ologbodiyan also hinted that the party was yet to take a decision whether there would be sanction against any of its members who had already declared support for a particular candidate.
His words; “The party will certainly meet this week and take a decision on whether our elected members of the Ninth National Assembly would be directed to cast their votes for a particular aspirant or be given freedom to vote for any aspirant of their choice.
“We will meet with the PDP caucuses in the Senate and House of Representatives separately because they know the particular aspirant they could work with.
“We have not got to the level of determining sanctions against our members who have already started identifying with a particular candidate”, Ologbondiyan said.