- The search for a senator to take over the minority leader seat of Senator Godswill Akpabio has reportedly began
- PDP senators allegedly said they regretted not getting rid of Senator Akpabio earlier
Amidst defection rumour, senators elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has begun moves to replace minority leader of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio and regretted not getting rid of him earlier.
Vanguard reports that the a source from PDP said the senators claimed fear of overheating the polity and causing crisis in the PDP made them not to remove him as Minority Leader when they discovered that his commitment started waning.
A PDP senator who begged to be anonymous said: said: “Some months ago, it came to the knowledge of the Senate PDP caucus that the Minority Leader was having some challenges with leading the members.
“A number of our colleagues noticed it and called for leadership change, but the former governor went round, begging for cooperation. With emerging developments, those who moved for his replacement are now vindicated."
Another senator said: “We got to know late that he was no longer one of us. We had thought of removing him as Minority Leader since last year and ostracise him from serious plans but two senators prevailed on us and pleaded that he would change.
“All along, we suspected that he was having contacts with the ruling party. Twice, it was reported that he visited the Presidential Villa and he never denied it. A number of our members were worried, what would a Minority Leader be doing in the Villa without the Senate President or other principal officers.
“For instance, apart from keeping away from all the campaigns on the governorship of our candidate in Ekiti State, he was actually linked with working closely with the ruling APC on the matter of that election.
“Even as tight as we thought we had kept our plans on the defection of 14 APC senators on July 24, the ruling party and the Presidency were briefed on every step and our members were worried.
“We realised late that he was double-dealing with the Modu Sheriff faction during our struggle to reclaim our party from the hawks.”
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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com earlier reported that the PDP has said the senator is yet to inform the party of his alleged plan to decamp.
The PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a telephone interview on Sunday, August 5, said that Akpabio, who is also the Senate Minority Leader, is yet to write to the party.
Ologbondiyan said: “The party is not aware. He has not written to the party to that effect."
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