NASS LEADERSHIP: Tambuwal loses Senate Minority seat to Wike’s ally

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  • Chinda emerges Reps Minority Leader

  • APC disowns Bamidele, Ndume, other principal officers

The ambition of a former Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, to become the Senate Minority Leader failed on Tuesday as the lot fell on Simon Mwadkwon, the Senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District.

Tambuwal, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, had schemed his way in 2011 to the speakership of the House against the run of play, defeating the anointed candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Mulikat Adeola, to the coveted seat.

Adeola was later compensated with the position of House Leader to pacify the party.

Mwadkwon was announced as the Minority Leader by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, at plenary in Abuja on Tuesday.

Akpabio also announced Senator Oyewumi Olalere (PDP-Osun) as Deputy Minority Leader; Senator Darlington Nwokocha (LP-Abia) as Senate Minority Whip; and Senator Rufai Hanga (NNPP-Kano) as Senate Deputy Minority Whip.

The Senate President had earlier announced Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti) as Majority Leader of the 10th Senate.

Akpabio also announced Senator Ali Mohammed Ndume (APC-Borno) as the Chief Whip; Senator David Umahi (APC-Ebonyi) as the Deputy Leader; and Senator Lola Ashiru (APC-Kwara) as Deputy Chief Whip.

Also on Tuesday, the Speaker of House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, announced the principal officers for the 10th House of Representatives.

Abbas who read the letter form the minority caucus and the All Progressive Congress said:

“According to the standing rules that members of the minority parties shall nominate the Minority Leader, Deputy Minority Leader, Minority Whip and Deputy Minority Whip, all coming from the minority parties in the House, Hon. Kingsley Chinda of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is the Minority Leader, while Deputy Minority Leader is Hon Ozodinobi George of the Labour Party, Minority Whip is Hon. Ali Issa also of the PDP and Deputy Minority Whip is Hon. Aliyu Madaki of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).”

Chinda was nominated as the Minority Leader in 2019, however, the former Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, announced Ndudi Elumelu as the Minority Leader.

Chinda had played a leading role in the election of Abbas as the Speaker and the announcement was seen as a reward.

The Speaker also announced Julius Ihombvere as Majority Leader, Deputy Majority Leader is Halims Abdullahi and Chief Whip is Bello Kumo, Deputy Chief Whip – Adewumi Onanuga.

Onanuga is the only female in the house leadership.

APC disowns Bamidele, Ndume, other principal officers

Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, has disowned the new leadership of the National Assembly announced on Tuesday by Akpabio and Abbas.

Adamu, who labeled the report as a ‘rumour’ at a crucial meeting of the National Working Committee and APC governors at the party secretariat, said the party had not officially named the presiding officers.

“I am just hearing as a rumour now from the online media that there have been some announcements in the Senate and House of Representatives. The national headquarters of the party of the NWC has not given any such information or communicated about the choice of offices. Until we formally resolve and communicate with them in writing which is the norm and practice, it is not our intention to break away from traditions. So whatever announcement is done either by the President of the Senate, Deputy Senate President, Speaker or Deputy Speaker, it is not from this secretariat.

“We are going to formally inform you that we are going to have a caucus. For quite a time, there has been no caucus in place. The caucus has been reconstituted according to the constitution of APC. And we will be discussing that with you as governors, you know your states more than we know them. Even if we come from the same state, the leadership is in you as governors,” Adamu said.

Continuing, the APC chairman disclosed that the party would make an official announcement when the decision on the sharing formula of the principal offices has been determined.

The two-term governor of Nasarawa State also used the opportunity to update the governors on the audit of the party’s account in the last year, which the NWC hopes to submit in seven days at the meeting of the National Executive Committee.

He said, “You will get an update on the national election in the national assembly sharing of powers particularly the leadership of the chambers, the election of the principal officers of the Senate by the Senate President and Deputy Senate President. The election of the speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives have been determined and announced and their responsibilities.

“The remaining offices to be determined by the two chambers are yet to be done. I had a courtesy call on Saturday from the President of the Senate and his deputy.

“Along with the caucus, the National Advisory Council will give you the list that has been prepared and make sure that every state is represented. And we will give you the knowledge of it and advice. You will also be given the benefits of all the detailed accounts from April 2022 to April 2023. The PCC account has been audited and it has been submitted to the INEC by the party. We will hear your advice and then see how we can ensure that we comply with the provisions of the constitution of the party.”

Responding, the governor of Imo State and Chairman PGF, Hope Uzodima, said “We’re loyal to the party completely, and we assure the leadership of the party that all the governors here are constructive partners to the job of building our part and are willing to work with the party and submit to the ideals and norms of the party.

“We don’t have another party, this party is the largest party in black and white Africa, and we’ll have to run with it.

“We are delighted to be here and must commend the leadership of our great party; we must commend our new brand president, who has started very well.

“And he’s been applauded all over the world, for bold decisions and courageous decisions, he is being taken.

“Meetings like this are really meant to brainstorm for us to contribute ideas, not only building our party but building the nation.

“I think that the party has a responsibility working on progressive governors, speaking for all progressive minds in the country, to support the policies and programmes of the administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu the president.

“While we’re doing that, we are also ready to market these policies to critical stakeholders, the labour, the political class, the private sector, into understanding the benefits of certain decisions that have been taken of late by the government.

“So I want to congratulate all of us for the victory and successes recorded so far and by the grace of God we will continue to record more successes.”