*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.
Shettima Appoints Hakeem, Elder Brother of LP Vice Presidential Candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed
Hakeem Baba-Ahmed has been appointed to serve as the special adviser on political matters to Vice-President Kashim Shettima.
Baba-Ahmed is an elder brother of Datti Baba-Ahmed, vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25 election.
Baba-Ahmed’s appointment was made known on Monday, September 17, via a social media post on X, formerly Twitter.
NNPP Crisis: Court Sets Aside Kwankwaso’s Suspension From The Party
A Kano State High Court has set aside the suspension of the 2023 presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) from the party.
Justice Usman Na’aana on Tuesday granted an interim injunction restraining Boniface Aniebonam, Agbo Major, and 16 other respondents from parading themselves as national officers or leaders of the party pending the hearing and determination of the motion of notice.
The judge also set aside “the purported suspension of Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as member of the applicant (NNPP)”.
On August 29, 2023, the group led by NNPP chieftains — Aniebonam and Major — within the party suspended Kwankwaso for six months for hobnobbing with politicians outside the NNPP.
Kwankwaso, a former Kano State governor, who came fourth in this year’s presidential election.
The Aniebonam and Major group, which controls NNPP Board of Trustees said “material evidence” in public affirmed that Kwankwaso was involved in “anti-party activities in various meetings” and political discussions with President Bola Tinubu, then candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC); his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Atiku Abubakar; and Labour Party (LP)’s Peter Obi.
The group would subsequently expel Kwankwaso over “failure to appear before the Disciplinary Committee”.
The Aniebonam and Major group also accused Kwankwaso of “financial impropriety relating to the mismanagement of public funds”.
However, the Kano court stopped Aniebonam, Major and 16 other respondents from parading themselves as party officials and fixed October 5, 2023 for the case.
Guber Poll: I’ll Hit The Ground Running As APC Chairman – Ganduje
The new National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, says he will hit the ground running to ensure the victory of the ruling party in the November 11, 2023 governorship polls in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa.
Ganduje spoke on Thursday during his acceptance speech as the party’s chair after his emergence at the 12th APC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton in Abuja.
The party’s NEC also elected former Senate spokesman, Ajibola Basiru, from Osun State as its National Secretary.
Addressing party leaders after his emergence, Ganduje thanked President Bola Tinubu and promised that internal democracy would prevail in the party during his tenure.
The ex-governor of Kano State pledged to ensure a scientific register of party members and pay utmost attention to election management and conflict resolution.
According to him, there would be level playing field for all party members during party primaries.
Ganduje promised to hit the ground running to ensure victory for the party in the three forthcoming off-season governorship elections in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa.
Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi are three of the eight states with off-season governorship elections due to past litigations and court judgements. Others are Anambra, Edo, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo.
In the general elections earlier this year, the APC won the presidential poll and 16 state governorship polls leaving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with 10, the Labour Party (LP) with one state and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) also with a state.
For the November 11, 2023 governorship poll in Kogi, the APC is fielding a former Auditor General of Local Government in the state, Usman Ododo.
In Bayelsa, the party is fielding the immediate past Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, while incumbent Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, is throwing his hat into the ring for a second term in office.
Interestingly, the new APC chairman was unable to secure a win for his party in the March 18, 2023 governorship election as NNPP’s Yusuf Kabir and ally of NNPP presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso, trounced Ganduje’s man, Nasir Gawuna.
Kabir scored 1,019,602 votes to defeat his closest contender, Gawuna, of the APC who polled 890,705 votes. In the February 25 poll, the APC also lost to the NNPP.
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