PDP crisis: Mark averts showdown in Senate

Senate President, David Mark, on Wednesday averted a possible descent to chaos at plenary when two Senators engaged themselves in hot exchanges over the factional crisis in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
PDP members of the House of Representatives had last week exchanged blows on the floor of the House over similar issues when chairman of a faction of the party, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, visited the House.
The Wednesday’s showdown was nearly triggered off when the Senators were paying tributes to late former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Agagu, who died in a U.S. hospital on September 13 at the age of 65.
Danjuma Goje (a former Governor of Gombe State) had introduced himself during the plenary as a member of “the new and authentic PDP” but Smart Adeyemi retorted angrily that it was uncharitable for a Senator to celebrate factionalistion of his party.
Adeyemi relied on Order 53 of the Senate’s Standing Rule to challenge Goje.
He noted that it was offensive for Goje, who has served as a Governor and still serving as a lawmaker under PDP platform, to support a faction in the party.
He, therefore, urged Goje not only to withdraw his statement but to also tender unreserved apology to PDP members for using offensive langauge against the party.
“It was wrong for Senator Goje, who is a PDP member and who has not decamped to insinuate that PDP has two factions.
“As far as I know, there is no faction in PDP and to lay claim to two PDP is unconstitutional. I demand that Goje withdraw that statement and apologise to this chamber for using offensive language against the party,” Adeyemi said.
Goje had while eulogising the late Agagu said: “As long as I am concerned, I belong to the new PDP chaired by Abubakar Baraje. I was a member of PDP long before Adeyemi. In fact, I am more PDP than him.”
Sensing that the arguments between Adeyemi and Goje over membership of old and the new PDP were degenerating, Mark quickly intervened, assuring that so far as the party remains one strong and indivisible entity, the Senate was not in a position to decide who heads the party.
Satisfied that the two warring Senators still laid claims to the party membership, Mark called for calm on the floor to enable the chamber concentrate on its duties.
“I am satisfied that Goje said he is still in PDP. The issue of chairmanship is not for us to decide,” Mark added.

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