The Peoples Democratic Party and its standard bearer in the last election, Atiku Abubakar are on a collision course with the G-5 over the minority leadership in the National Assembly, particularly the Senate.
The PDP and Atiku had declared support for the ex-governor of Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal (PDP, Sokoto South) for the minority leadership seat but the G-5 was pushing for Senator Jarigbe Jarigbe (Cross River North) for the same position.
Atiku and the G-5 comprising Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, former governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers); ex-Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue; his colleague in Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia)) had been at loggerheads since the ex-Vice-President emerged as the party’s standard bearer in the last presidential election.
While Makinde is still in office for his second and final term, the other members of the G-5 have concluded their eight-year tenure.
As governor, Wike led his four colleagues to work against the former vice president in his quest to succeed ex-President Muhammadu Buhari.
As provided for by the relevant laws and rules of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, aside from the two presiding officer positions, eight principal positions are also to be occupied by elected lawmakers on the platforms of both the ruling and minority political parties.
On resumption of the plenary on July 4, the Senate President is expected to read the letter from the parties announcing their nominations for the minority leadership positions.
After the election of the presiding officers, both the majority and minority caucuses of the National Assembly are expected to appoint their leaders.
But the jostle for the Senate minority leadership position appears to be generating tension among the opposition senators following moves by some vested interests to impose a candidate on the Senate.
Lawmakers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed that Atiku was behind the choice of Tambuwal as the minority leader.