“When the time comes for us to take a position, we know when to strike. That is politics for you,” Prince Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), told Punch over the leadership of the 9th National Assembly.
The chairman of the opposition party noted that the PDP is not worried about the moves by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to sideline its members in the election of presiding officers of the 9th National Assembly.
Secondus noted that his party would strike at the appropriate time.
The ruling party had noted that it would take control of all leadership positions in the next National Assembly.
Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, had warned lawmakers elected under the APC not to negotiate with the opposition, saying that their PDP colleagues are not needed and all leadership positions including chairmen of committees would be headed only by APC members.
APC however in its recent statement published on Naija Buzz backtracks, saying that it recognizes the importance of opposition in democracy. The party’s latest position came only as its members interested in contesting the NASS leadership positions consults their PDP colleagues.
With the apparent division among APC lawmakers-elect, it is very clear that PDP’s 46 senators would determine who emerges as next Senate President after Dr. Bukola Saraki.
Speaker of the National House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, had warned that candidates endorsed by political parties were usually rejected by lawmakers.
He further said that the PDP have confidence in its lawmakers-elect, adding that “they are all capable to take decisions that are in the best interest of Nigeria, Nigerians and are all good party men and women.”
“We are not bothered about the hue and cry by the ruling party of their winner takes all position.
“We know that politics is about negotiations, discussions and listening to people.
“The Senate is made up of former governors who have served for eight years, ex-ministers and even ambassadors. Some deputy governors are there as well.
“You don’t just summon and bark out orders at such men and women. National Assembly is the nation’s symbol of democracy.
“As a party, we are keenly watching what is ongoing. We are also hearing what some are saying about how they want to control the assembly and all that.
“We are not used to making noise. Rather, we discuss, we negotiate and we agree. When the time comes for us to take a position, we know when to strike. That is politics for you.
“Notable political players who know their onions don’t make noise on the pages of newspapers and on the screen of television stations. We know what we are doing as a party.”
“They said we were dead as a political party before the just-concluded general elections. We started with 11 states in December 2017, but got 13 states before the election. Now, we have 15 states with the hope that we would still get more because technically, we are in charge of Osun now.
“If we were not rigged out in some states and at the national level, we would have been in charge of more states. So, let the noise makers continue with their noise, while we keep talking to the people that matter,” Secondus said.