OrderPaperToday – While much attention is focused on the All Progressive Congress (APC) with respect to the position of speaker of the House of Representatives, there is a quiet scheming ongoing among the rank of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for a new minority leader.
The scheming is because Mr. Leo Ogor (PDP, Delta) the current Minority Leader has been down with ill-health since 2017 and has not been able to perform the functions of his office. Although he won re-election in the February 23, 2019 national assembly polls, his prolonged ill-health is casting doubt on his capacity to lead the minority caucus in the coming 9th assembly.
The absence of Mr. Ogor, fondly referred to as the ‘General’ by his colleagues due to his robust debating and leadership mobilization skills, has since created a leadership vacuum that other principal officers in the minority have not been able to fill.
The vacuum is made pronounced by the fact that the deputy minority leader, Chukwuka Onyema (PDP, Anambra), who has been acting in Ogor’s stead, is said not to have shown adequate capacity to manage the affairs of the caucus.
A ranking member of the PDP in the House who craved anonymity for this report, confirmed to OrderPaperNG that the minority caucus is concerned about the inability of Ogor to lead in the 9th assembly and so a replacement is being considered.
On why the caucus is not looking in the direction of Mr. Onyeama, the member said: “We all know that he is not competent and has not done anything remarkable in the absence of Leo; so we cannot consider him to replace Leo. If not for the health crisis of Leo, there won’t be need for us to even talk about a new minority leader.”
The source explained further that the presence of incumbent speaker, Yakubu Dogara, in the caucus is expected to boost the profile of the minority “although, it will be somehow for him to become minority leader (after being speaker), it will definitely be a step down, but his presence will give the PDP the needed momentum.”
Another source revealed that a ranking PDP member from River State and another from Abia State are being seriously considered for the position of minority leader. OrderPaperNG also gathered that the national leadership of the party is also weighing in on the matter and would take a position soon.
The minority leader is the most important post for the opposition in parliament with lots of perks and privileges.