PDP probe panel meets Senators, Reps over Lawan, Gbajabiamila

July 20, 2019
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IN continuation of its ongoing probe of alleged defiance of party’s directive, a committee raised by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will, on Tuesday, meet with the Senators and members of the House of Representatives.

The panel may also hold a confidential debriefing session with PDP governors and some other leaders of the party on how to avert a repeat of protest voting in future.

There were insinuations that PDP federal lawmakers were influenced by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to go against their party directive.

But many of the Senators and House members have insisted that they voted for merit instead of the party’s imposed candidates.

The committee, headed by ex-President of the Senate, Chief Adolphus Wabara, is investigating why PDP senators and House members voted for both the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.

The party had endorsed both Ali Ndume and Umar Bahago for the offices of the President of the Senate and the Speaker respectively.

The opposition lawmakers however opted for Lawan and Gbajabiamila.

However, many PDP members indicted the leadership of the party for waiting till the last minute before making up its mind on the choice of candidates for the two offices.

According to investigation, the committee will begin the probe after preliminary stock-taking on how the opposition lawmakers defied the PDP directive.

A top source said: “The panel will meet the Senators and House members on Tuesday to air their views on why they decided to vote for Lawan and Gbajabiamila. We have video, audio and newspapers’ clips of some of our lawmakers declaring that they would vote for opposition candidates.

“From their presentations, we will detect where the party and its leaders at all levels got it wrong. Where it is proved beyond reasonable doubt, we will recommend sanctions. Some PDP Senators and Representatives even served as coordinators for Lawan and Gbajabiamila.

“But of importance to us is how to prevent a re-occurrence of this type of embarrassing scenario.”

Asked of what is really the problem, the source said: “I think apart from the lawmakers, most PDP leaders and governors were not united on where the party was headed.

“This was why the decision of the party on Ndume and Bahago came late. For weeks, our lawmakers were without direction.”

A member of the committee, who spoke in confidence, said: “We will ensure a comprehensive investigation because there is a strong suspicion that the party was not united. Our governors worked at cross-purposes.

“Our team is  a fact-finding group because there was a serious compromise. We want to avoid a repeat of this rebellious attitude.

“If there is need to reconcile, we will make appropriate recommendations. Otherwise, we may ask for sanctions to serve as a deterrent.”

Other members of the committee are Prof. Wale Oladipo (Secretary); Yunana Iliya;  Senator Ben Obi; Senator Abdul Ningi, Senator Ibrahim Mantu; Senator Stella Omu;  Margret Icheen; Hassan Hyatt and Austin  Opara.

The PDP Deputy National Chairman, (South) Mr. Yemi Akinwunmi inaugurated the committee on behalf of the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus.

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