There was an uproar during plenary at the Senate on Tuesday after Godswill Akpabio, the president, announced Abba Morro of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), representing Benue South as the minority leader and Osita Ngwu, also a PDP senator, representing Enugu West as minority whip.
Morro takes over from Simon Mwadkwon, while Ngwu replaces Darlington Nwokocha of the Labour Party. Both senators were sacked by the Appeal Court.
Immediately after the announcement, lawmakers from the minority caucus raised objections to the announcement.
Okechukwu Ezea, a senator representing Enugu North said, “It is unfair and against the spirit of Nigerian constitution”. He was not happy that PDP senators had dominated the minority leadership.
He also noted that the process for choosing minority leaders has not been completed among the minority caucus.
Tony Nwoye, a senator representing Anambra North, said it was unfair for Akpabuo to determine their leaders.
“It is unfair. Are we your slaves? Why will the Senate president be picking leaders for us? You have done your worst. You have pushed us to the wall”, he yelled.
Afterwards, Akapbio asked the minority to put their house in order first, saying he was only working with what he was given.
‘In my front, I have two papers, the majority of the senators have signed for senator Abba Morro, it will be unfair for me to ignore the majority signatures. At the same time, it would be unfair to see someone who has the majority and I wouldn’t announce him, it doesn’t matter your personal reservations, I just want to plead with my colleagues to understand that my job is not to take individual opinion, but to work on the basis of truth.
So, this issue of minority leader or minority whip is for now rested until we produce an alternative paper in the future”, Akpabio declared.