Sunday 15 September 2013

Tension Mounts Over National Assembly Resumption

Tension mounts over National Assembly resumption

Following tension over the factionalisation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), there were fears that the National Assembly leadership may postpone the reconvening of members.
It was learnt that some members of the Assembly, who are pro-Bamanga Tukur faction of the party are pushing for a postponement. However, the leadership might hide under the excuse of ‘major repair’ of the Assembly complex to bid time for the resolution of the crisis.
According to findings, Senators and members of the House of Representatives are expected to resume on September 17.
But there were security reports that the members of the Kawu Baraje faction of PDP in collaboration with the opposition might take over the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
It was learnt that some senators in the New PDP had met last Thursday at the residence of a former Governor of Kwara State, Dr. Bukola Saraki, over what a source described as “for strategic purpose”.
It was gathered that part of the Plan B of the New PDP is to take over the National Assembly to checkmate President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term ambition.

Before the factionalization of PDP, the party had 70 senators and 204 members in the House of Representatives.
The opposition had 39 Senators and 156 members in the House.
But with the emergence of New PDP, the decimated ruling party will be left with 48 senators and 147 House members.
Although some strategists in Tukur’s camp had initially ignored the threats but they have decided not to take things for granted.
A reliable source, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said: “I think some PDP leaders are trying to influence the National Assembly to shift its resumption indefinitely to allow the ongoing peace talks on PDP crisis to go through.
“They want the leadership to attribute the shift to the repairs being carried out by the management of the National Assembly. But the reality is that these strategists are uncomfortable with the likely backlash of the PDP crisis on its position in the National Assembly. The party does not want to be in the minority. It is trying to see whether it could resolve its crisis or not.”
Another source said some Senators were being mobilized to push for the postponement, adding the normal practice is for the Senate and the House of Representatives to reconvene and go into Executive Session and consider factors for postponement. This may play out on Tuesday, September 17th.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Alhaji Zakari Mohammed, who spoke with our correspondent at about 9.30pm on Saturday said: “We are resuming on Tuesday in line with our legislative calendar. I am aware that some of our colleagues are calling for a little delay because of the challenge in PDP but we are going ahead.”

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