PDP senators unveil new zoning formula as court sacks more lawmakers

Senators elected on the platform of the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) met on Wednesday to seek replacements for the principal positions of the Senate minority leader and minority whip.

Politics Nigeria reports that the former minority whip, Senator Simon Mwadkwon (PDP, Plateau North) was sacked by the Court of Appeal in October.

A three-member appeal panel ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in the Plateau North Senatorial District within 90 days.

In a similar vein, a Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, had sacked the Senate minority chief whip representing Abia Central under the platform of the Labour Party, Darlington Nwokocha, and subsequently declared Augustine Akobundu of the PDP as the authentic winner of the February 25 election in the senatorial district.

At a closed-door session on Wednesday, the PDP lawmakers resolved to zone the office of the minority leader to the North Central geo-political zone.

The PDP lawmakers in the zone include Abba Moro (Benue South), Peter Ndalikali (Niger South) and Mohammed Onawo (Nassarawa South).

The lawmakers who agreed to convey their position to other lawmakers in the other opposition parties in the Senate added that the North Central has been shut out in the power distribution in the country.

In attendance at the meeting were Senators Aminu Tambuwal, Abdul Ningi, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, Abba Morro, Aminu Dankwabbo, Francis Fadahunsi Osita Ngwu, Ned Nwoko, Adamu Aliero, amongst others.

Speaking with journalists after the closed-door meeting, Senator Maidoki explained why the PDP senators settled for North Central.

“Everyone has agreed that the North Central should have that position for equity,” he said.

“Whether you are in PDP or APC, the Senate President is from the South-South, the Deputy Senate President is from North West, the Senate Leader is from South West, the Chief Whip is from North East. So, the only zone where you do not have a leadership position is North Central, after the exit of the last Minority Leader.

“We have all agreed that the North Central should have it for equity. Even though the highest number of PDP senators are from the North West, we are on the same page, we are unanimous, and we have agreed to those who want the same position we have persuaded.

“This was just driven by equity for every zone. In any case, it is only a position of trust, he has only one vote when it comes to voting, and the Senate President has only one vote.”

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