Controversy trails nomination of Senate minority leader
The nomination of Senator John Enoh, a PDP Senator representing Cross Rivers Central Senatorial as Senate minority leader is causing trouble in the PDP caucus in the Upper House.
Enoh’s candidacy which is said to be enjoying the support of a prominent leader in the PDP caucus has also attracted opposition from other ranking senators who described him as a first timer in the chamber but spent three terms in the House of Representatives.
It was gathered that soon after the zoning of positions for the minority party, a meeting was convened by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.
A source said:”the meeting was held to choose the minority leader… “As the meeting progressed, Senator James Manager, who has the same ranking in the chamber with Ekweremadu, was not invited to the meeting.
“Immediately Manager got to know of the meeting holding behind his back, he went straight to the venue where he met Ekweremadu presiding over the meeting to choose a minority leader”.
By the time he got there, it was decided that although the South south would produce the minority leader, Manager would not occupy the position since he is from Delta State where the same position had been zoned to Leo Ogor, his kinsman.
Manager was not in d meeting.
It was gathered that the top-ranking Senator pushed for the candidacy of Enoh since he is a ranking member of the National Assembly. But, he is a fresher in the Senate.
Order 2 of the Senate Standing Orders reads: Election of presiding and other officers states that in determining ranking, “the following order shall apply: (i) Senators returning based on number of times re-elected; (II) Senators who had been members of the House of Representatives; (iii) Senators elected as Senators for the first time.”
Manager has been in the chamber since 2003 while Enoh and Akpabio were elected into the Senate on March 28 this year.
A Senator who was at the meeting revealed that former Akwa Ibom State Governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio nominated Manager being he most ranking member of the caucus.
But there was no consensus on the nomination, which prompted another nomination of Senator George Thompson Sekibo.
That nomination, too, did not fly. That was when the nomination of Enoh was mooted.
He continues: “Senator Akpabio was surprised that the ranking rule could be jettisoned for a fresher. Some people in our fold decided to do things their own way by going outside the ranking rule.
“At the meeting, Akpabio was the one who nominated Manager in the first place and he was very serious about it. But from nowhere, they now brought Enoh, from the House and Akpabio said, if Enoh, who is a first term Senator from the House can be promoted, then, he, too, will join the race… There’s problem in the PDP already, but the PDP is just trying to manage it so that it doesn’t spill to the public.”