OrderPaperToday – For anyone who has been keeping up with OrderPaper, it can be taken for granted that they know the Principal Officers in both Chambers of the National Assembly.
For the sake of those who don’t know however, the eight Principal Officers are; Majority Leader, Deputy Majority Leader, Minority Leader, and the Deputy Minority Leader,
The others are the Chief Whip, Deputy Chief Whip, Minority Whip, and Deputy Minority Whip.
Given the recent wave of defections by lawmakers in that category, this piece takes a look at the turnover of Principal Officers in the 9th National Assembly.
DEPUTY MINORITY WHIP
In July 2021, Senator Sahabi Ya’u (Zamfara West) the Deputy Minority Whip defected from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress Party (APC).
Senator Ibrahim Danbaba was nominated by the PDP on July 15, 2021, to replace Ya’u as Deputy Minority Whip
Ya’u said his decision was necessitated by the endemic crisis that engulfed the Zamfara State chapter of the PDP at the time.
DEPUTY MINORITY LEADER
Former Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South) in February 2022 defected from the PDP to APC.
Senator Bwacha said he left the PDP so he could operate in an atmosphere of open competition, where which the huge division and factionalisation of the PDP in Taraba did not allow him to.
Bwacha was replaced by Senator Shuaibu Isa Lau (Taraba North) as the new Senate Deputy Minority Leader on the 8th of February 2022.
DEPUTY MINORITY WHIP
Again, a change occurred on 27th April 2022 when the Deputy Minority Whip, Senator Ibrahim Danbaba (Sokoto South) who earlier succeeded Senator Ya’u, defected from the opposition PDP to the ruling party, APC.
His reason for defection he said, was based on the lingering crisis rocking the PDP in Sokoto state.
On the 11th of May 2022, Danbaba was succeeded by Senator Danjuma La’ah Tella (Kaduna South) as the current Deputy Minority Whip.
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South) decamped from the PDP to APGA. In a letter dated May 26th, 2022, he also conveyed his resignation from the position as Minority Leader.
Abaribe fell out with the PDP following his failure to secure the Governorship ticket to contest the 2023 elections in his home state.
In a statement, he said, “the development is consequent upon the shameful display of illegality, impunity and undemocratic decision of the party.”
Replacing the former Minority Leader on the 21st of June 2022 is a long-time serving lawmaker, Senator Philip Tanimu Aduda (FCT).
Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North) on the 8th of June 2022 announced his defection from the PDP to APC.
In his resignation letter, Abdullahi said he left APC due to a lack of internal democracy in the party. He was quoted saying “After failing to get justice in APC, I have moved to the PDP.”
We await the announcement of the next Senate Leader as presented by the governing party, APC.
#ThrowbackThursday is OrderPaper’s special programme focused on historical trends in the polity.
Many times, it is aimed at spotlighting the genesis and previous NASS intervention(s) while exploring the present and way forward.