On Thursday, Barr. Nyesom Wike, the former governor of Rivers State, engaged in a lengthy discussion with Senate President Godswill Akpabio, lasting over six hours. The meeting took place in preparation for the Senate’s resumption on July 4, 2023.
Sources indicate that the purpose of the extensive meeting was Wike’s attempt to obstruct the nomination process for Senate Minority leaders by the hierarchy of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in both the upper and lower legislative chambers of the National Assembly.
The meeting, held in the Senate President’s office, was attended by Deputy Senate President Senator Jibrin Barau, the recently appointed Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate) Senator Abdullahi Abubakar Gumel, Senator Jibrin Isah representing Kogi East Senatorial District, and Senator Salihu Mustapha representing Kwara Central Senatorial District.
Although Wike did not speak to journalists after the meeting and left in the Senate President’s convoy, an anonymous source revealed that the former governor presented arguments for his faction to nominate the Minority leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives instead of leaving it to the PDP national leadership.
Whether the Senate President agreed to Wike’s proposal remains to be confirmed. However, it should be noted that historically, the selection of Majority and Minority Leaders in both chambers has been handled by the respective political party organs.
The source stated, “Wike is adamant about his faction producing the principal officers but did not disclose the names of those he is targeting. He is determined to secure the necessary support from the National Assembly leadership and minority political parties in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.”
It is worth mentioning that the APC has 59 Senators, while the PDP has 36. Additionally, other minority parties such as the Labour Party, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), APGA, and YPP have a total of 14 Senators combined.