Nigeria: Drama Over APC, PDP Population in Senate

14 December 2018

A mild drama ensued, yesterday, between Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan over the composition of political parties in the Red Chamber.

Lawan (APC, Yobe) had raised a point of order where he observed that a Daily Trust report erroneously said the All Progressives Congress (APC) has 57 senators, while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has 58.

He said to put the record straight, APC has 56 senators, while PDP has 46.

However, Ekweremadu who presided over the plenary tactically disagreed with ‎Lawan, saying as it stood, there was no statistics showing the actual number of each political party in the Senate.

"I want to say there's no any particular statistics for now. We cannot talk about the figures that each political party has because there is no such statistics. So, let it be on record that we have no such record now," Ekweremadu said.

Daily Trust had separately reported that while the APC has 57 senators, including Sen Joshua Dariye, who has been away from the Senate after his conviction by a court, PDP has 48 following the series of defections ‎that took place in the Senate.

However, it was learnt that Sen Barnabas Gemade who had moved from the APC to PDP later moved to the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Similarly, Sen Stella Oduah, who had joined the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) from PDP, was reported to have returned to her former party.

There are also two lawmakers, namely Abdulaziz Nyako and Monsurat Sunmonu, who joined the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in July.

Lawan also faulted the report that majority of the senators voted against the confirmation of Festus Keyamo as a Board member of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).

Our correspondent had, based on what transpired on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday, reported that voting on Keyamo's confirmation had to be done twice, ‎following the resounding rejection through voice votes by apparently lawmakers of the PDP.

But Ekweremadu said: ‎"The issue of how we vote is determined by voice votes, and is based on the decision of the presiding officer. If anybody has issues with the ruling, we can call for division. But since nobody called for any division, it meant that senators were in tandem with the ruling."

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