We Know Our Resumption Will Not Be Rowdy, Says Senator Ogba
Senator Obinna Ogba, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing Ebonyi South district speaks on how the Senate managed its crisis during Tuesday resumption
WHAT is the secret behind the Senate’s peaceful plenary on Tuesday despite the leadership crisis bedeviling it?
We knew the resumption was not going to be rowdy because there was no need for such. People outside were apprehensive that something negative might happen but as far as we were concerned, we know where we were going and all of were focused on what we were going to do.
There are some of us who still feel shortchanged and are disgruntled, but they will only make noise outside the Chamber. The Tuesday resumption day was like a normal sitting day and members of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are enjoying a formidable, united front in the Senate. We are able to manage ourselves and produced our principal officers without crisis.
It seems the PDP is gradually hijacking the Senate leadership?
The Senate is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is not the Senate of APC or PDP and all of us are Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The moment you enter the chamber, what is utmost on your mind is Nigeria as a country and not the political party that brought you to power or your ethnic group or zone.
The Senator who sponsored the Motion for the vote of confidence was a PDP Senator. Yes, agreed, but we have a total of 81 Senators unanimously endorsing the vote of confidence. Democracy is where minority will have their say, but majority will have their way.
What are the possibilities of the Senate shifting ground on its leadership?
Some Nigerians are making mistake over the appointment of principal officers of the Senate. It is not a situation of the Senate President appointing the Senate Leader, it was supposed to come from the APC caucus and they have made their choice of candidate. These positions were zoned to geo-political zones and each of them came up with their nominations. Those who are dragging the President of the Senate into the issue are doing so because they just want to do so. Today, Senator Ahmed Lawan was in the chamber and he was not looking like someone who was angry or aggrieved.
To me, politics is all about either winning or losing and there was nothing wrong in aspiring to be Senate President but the position is no longer vacant as at today. As such you do not have to be annoyed. When you try your best today and things do not work out as expected, you wait for another opportunity to come. What should be on our minds should be how to make laws that will better the lives of Nigerians, not as it affects you as an individual.
What is the implication of Akpabio’s endorsement as the Minority Leader?
Akpabio’s choice as the Minority Leader has no negative implication on PDP. The issue is that some people do not read the Senate Standing Rules. The rules never state that no first timer will occupy a leadership position. It only states that priority should be giving to ranking members and you have to check the indices.
Let us assume a position is zoned to a particular place and there are ranking Senators but the first says he is not interested, the second says he is not interested and so on, so, what do you do? Do you throw away the position? Again, there are so many things, what of a situation where some of us are ranking and others are not ranking, but we feel that the one who is not ranking is the one who will represent us very well? So, it has to do with the interest of the zone you are coming from. The caucus may say ‘we want Mr. A to represent us’ and that is what exactly what the PDP caucus has done.
Every single senator belonging to the PDP accepted the nomination of Senator Akpabio wholeheartedly. We are nominated him. We are supporting him and the entire leadership as well as the President of the country to succeed.
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