…By Dorcas Funmi for TDPel Media.
Divisions Over House Minority Leader:
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is facing another crisis, this time regarding the selection of Minority Leaders for the House of Representatives and the Senate in the upcoming 10th National Assembly.
The opposition party finds itself in turmoil following the endorsement of Hon. Kingsley Chinda, a strong ally of former Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike, by the House of Representatives PDP caucus for the position of House Minority Leader.
This move has intensified tensions within the party due to Chinda’s association with Wike, who openly opposed PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the recent election.
The Emergence of Chinda as Consensus Candidate:
Chinda emerged as the consensus candidate during a meeting in Abuja after Hon. Oluwole Oke from Osun State, believed to be the preferred candidate of Atiku’s camp, withdrew from the race.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, had earlier dismissed rumors and reports of preselected minority leadership positions for the 10th National Assembly, emphasizing that the party would collectively decide on such matters in due time.
Internal Disagreements and Opposition to Chinda’s Candidacy:
While some prominent PDP members advocate for the party to refuse Chinda’s endorsement as a form of punishment for his and Wike’s alleged anti-party activities during the 2023 presidential election, others believe that the party’s leadership should avoid further internal conflicts.
Prior to Friday’s nomination, several PDP members-elect openly campaigned against Chinda’s candidacy, arguing that rewarding Wike and his allies with the Minority Leader position would be inappropriate after their actions contributed to the party’s loss in the presidential election.
South West’s Case for Equity and Fairness:
Some PDP members also argue that the South West region deserves the Minority Leader slot for the sake of equity and fairness.
As a result, there are indications that the party might consider Hon. Fred Egbedi, an associate of the immediate past Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as its favored candidate.
Challenges and Speaker’s Role:
Chinda’s proximity to Speaker Tajudeen Abbas presents another hurdle for those seeking his removal.
Considering the dynamics of politics, some anticipate that the Speaker could obstruct any attempts by the PDP to replace Chinda, as witnessed during the 9th National Assembly when the party’s preferred candidate, Ndudi Elumelu, faced resistance.
This situation further complicates the decision-making process.
Threat to Seriake Dickson’s Ambition:
Furthermore, Chinda’s endorsement poses a threat to former Bayelsa Governor Seriake Dickson’s aspiration for the position of Senate Minority Leader.
Dickson and Aminu Tambuwal, the immediate past governor of Sokoto State and an ally of Atiku, are prominent contenders for the slot.
Although Tambuwal seems to have an advantage due to his status as a first-timer in the Senate and his previous experience as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dickson’s chances are further diminished by the emergence of Chinda as House Minority Leader, as both individuals hail from the South-South region.
The PDP finds itself embroiled in an internal crisis regarding the selection of Minority Leaders for the National Assembly.
The endorsement of Hon. Kingsley Chinda by the House of Representatives PDP caucus has deepened divisions within the party, with some opposing the decision as a consequence of alleged anti-party activities.
The choice of Chinda as House Minority Leader has also created implications for former Governor Seriake Dickson’s ambition for the Senate Minority Leader position.
As the PDP navigates these internal conflicts, the party faces the challenge of maintaining unity and coherence while balancing the interests of its members and regional considerations.
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