OrderPaperToday – The caucus of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the Senate on Tuesday, got a new Deputy Minority Leader.
This development was contained in a letter from the party’s National Chairman, Iyorcha Ayu, nominating Senator Shuaibu Isa Lau (Taraba North) for the position.
As contained in the letter read by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at the start of plenary, Senator Lau’s nomination was against the backdrop of Senator Emmanuel Bwacha’s defection from the opposition party to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday.
“Senator Lau is from Taraba State, the North East geo-political zone of the country, where the position has been zoned.
The PDP Senate caucus has duly informed the National Headquarters of the party, in view of which we so communicate to you. We believe that Senator Lau will be an asset to the leadership of the Senate,” the letter read in part.
Meanwhile, the former Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South), has formally defected from the People’s Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Senator Bwacha who was present at plenary, relying on Order 42 of the Senate Rules (Personal Explanation), also conveyed reasons for his defection to the ruling party.
His decision to leave the opposition party was conveyed sequel to a point of order raised by the lawmaker during plenary.
“As King Solomon said, there’s a time for everything; now is a time for me to leave the People’s Democratic Party.
Mr. President, I say I have opportunity to breathe freely because of a deliberate isolation and huge division and factionalisation in the party in my state.
“Mr. President, I had to leave because I seek to breathe better. This day, I announce henceforth my exit from the People’s Democratic Party, and to join the governing party because of the visible presence of the party in my Senatorial District,” he said.
His announcement however met a minor resistance from Senator George Thompson Sekibo (Rivers East), who through a counter point of order cited the provisions of Section 68 (g)(h) and subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Senator Sekibo’s request for the Senate President to declare Bwacha’s seat vacant was however ruled out of order on the grounds that the defecting lawmaker made explanations about the PDP in Taraba being factionalised.
Bwacha’s defection brings the number of APC Senators to 70, PDP 38 Senators, and Young Progressives Party (YPP) 1.