*As Bwacha formally defects to APC
The Senate on Tuesday received a letter from the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Iyorcha Ayu, nominating Senator Shuaibu Isa Lau (Taraba North) as the new Deputy Minority Leader in the Senate.
Ayu said Senator Lau’s nomination was against the backdrop of Senator Emmanuel Bwacha’s defection from the opposition party to the All Progressives Congress (APC) last week.
The letter was read at the Start of plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
The letter reads in part, “following the defection of Senator Emmanuel Bwacha to the ruling APC, the PDP Senate caucus has nominated as his replacement, Senator Shuaibu Isa Lau.
“Senator Lau is from Taraba State, the North East geo-political zone of the country, where the position has been zoned.
“The PDP Senate caucus has duly informed the National Headquarters of the party, in view of which we so communicate to you.
“We believe that Senator Lau will be an asset to the leadership of the Senate.
“Thank you and accept the assurances of our highest regards.”
Meanwhile, the former Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate, Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South), has formally defected from the People’s Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Bwacha’s defection brings the number of APC Senators to 70, PDP 38 Senators and Young Progressives Party (YPP) 1.
His decision to leave the opposition party was conveyed sequel to a point of order raised by the lawmaker during plenary.
Relying on Order 42 of the Senate Rules (Personal Explanation), Senator Bwacha gave reasons for his defection.
He said, “In view of my desire for equal competition, and about my desire to enjoy the full operations of my fundamental human rights, Mr. President, I want to announce this day, that it is appointed to me, henceforth, to enjoy free air.
“As King Solomon said, there’s a time for everything; now is a time for me to leave the People’s Democratic Party.
“Mr. President, I say I have opportunity to breathe freely because of a deliberate isolation and huge division and factionalisation in the party in my state.
“Mr. President, I had to leave because I seek to breathe better. This day, I announce henceforth my exit from the People’s Democratic Party, and to join the governing party because of the visible presence of the party in my Senatorial District.
“I say this without fear of contradiction that my constituents are happy about this movement because of what they have seen on ground in Taraba South Senatorial District.
“So, we make bold to pay the PDP back by ensuring that better days are ahead for the party in Taraba State.”
Immediately after his announcement to defect from the opposition party, Senator George Thompson Sekibo (Rivers East), came with a counter point of order to oppose Bwacha’s defection citing the provisions of Section 68 (g)(h) and subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The lawmaker, against the backdrop of the provisions cited, requested the Senate President to declare Bwacha’s seat vacant.
Sekibo was however ruled out of order by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
Lawan observed that Sekibo’s demand was null as Senator Bwacha had explained that the PDP in Taraba was factionalised.
He also drew Sekibo’s attention to a letter by the National Chairman of the PDP nominating a new deputy leader to replace Bwacha.
According to Lawan, the decision by the PDP caucus in the Senate to intimate the National Body of the opposition party of a new nomination translates to an acceptance of Bwacha’s resignation from the PDP.
The Senate President, on the strength of the reasons advanced, ruled Sekibo out of order.
Tinubu/Shettima ticket best for Nigeria – Adamu
The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu has said Tinubu/Shettima ticket is the best for Nigeria at this trying period.
Adamu, who spoke with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa Service, said the ticket is the best winning strategy for the ruling party in next year’s election.
Adamu said while everybody in a democracy cannot be convinced to embark on the same course of action, there is overwhelming evidence that the same faith ticket is the best option.
He said: “You see, with the situation, we are in the country, you can’t convince everybody. It’s a democracy, and everyone has his right but for us, same faith ticket is the best thing for Nigeria presently.
“But we will not relent. We will work to ensure we convince Nigerians to fully support this Tinubu/Shettima ticket, every party has its strategy and this is the strategy that we think can best work for us.”
Despite the current security and economic challenges facing the country, the chairman expressed optimism about victory, insisting that the situation “won’t stop them from winning the election”.
“There’s insecurity in the country and every country faces its own kind of insecurity. The media don’t publicise government efforts adequately.”
2023 Presidential Election: This Is Not Your Time, Dino Melaye Dismisses Peter Obi
The spokesman of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Dino Melaye, has dismissed the social media frenzy generated by Peter Obi, saying the Labour Party presidential candidate does not stand a chance of winning next year’s poll.
Senator Melaye was speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, maintaining that social media does not win elections in Nigeria.
“To start with, there is no wave. What you have is euphoria; a created euphoria,” he said during the show.
“Let me even tell you, Peter Obi is a fantastic Nigerian. I have tremendous respect for him and I have said it before but this is not his time.
He does not have what it takes now to unify the country.”
He restated that social media popularity does not equate to voting power.
Melaye cited the recent performance of the Labour Party in the Osun State governorship election as an indication that social media is different from the reality on the ground.
“Despite Peter Obi visiting Osun to campaign for his party’s governorship candidate, the performance of the Labour Party was 2,700 votes,” Melaye argued, stressing that people should not be carried away by the “euphoria”.
The former lawmaker, who was recently named as the spokesperson of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, also dismissed Obi’s ability to reposition the economy – which is the main thrust of the ex-Anambra governor’s campaign- if he wins.
“Even when you talk about the economy, you need peace; you need to build trust among Nigerians,” the Kogi-born spokesman said.
As far as he is concerned, only his principal, Atiku, has the capacity to unite Nigeria and tackle headlong the challenges facing the country.
“It takes Atiku to unify this country. It takes a man that will be trusted in the north, south, east, and every part of the country to unify this country,” he said.
“Today, among all presidential candidates, Atiku is the only one that can be trusted; that nobody will see him as a religious bigot, tribalist; or ethnic jingoist.”
Wase Commends emergence of Governor Lalong as DG APC Presidential Campaign
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Ahmed Idris Wase has congratulated Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state on his appointment as the Director General, Presidential Campaign Organisation of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
Ahmed Idris Wase applauded the choice of the Governor saying he is most competent and fit to lead the campaign of the APC Presidential candidate.
He described the newly appointed DG as detribalized, resourceful, ingenious and a practical politician, an adept listener, and a leader with the right attitude to grind out results where others cannot succeed.
He is convinced that “With Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima on the ballot and Simon Lalong in the driving seat, the APC is on the right path to victory come February 2023″.
He thanked the Presidential candidate, the national chairman of the party for the confidence reposed in the Plateau governor to lead the APC campaign saying “A good product needs a great strategist to deliver”.
The All Progressives Congress had on Thursday unveiled the governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, as the Director General of its Presidential Campaign Council.
The unveiling was made after a visit by the party’s flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, the party’s National Chairman, and Senator Abdullahi Adamu and the Plateau Governor to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday.
Governor Simon Lalong, a two-term governor of Plateau State is also a candidate in the Senatorial Election in 2023 in Plateau State.
His emergence followed the decision of the party on its Presidential, Vice Presidential Candidates and the structure of its Presidential campaign council.
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