PDP’s probe of NASS election is illegal, says Oshiomhole

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The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party of embarking on illegality by setting up a panel to find out how its members voted in the election of principal officers for the 9th  National Assembly.

Meanwhile,  the party has confirmed the member representing Tudunwada/Doguwa federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Alhassan Doguwa, as the Majority Leader of the House.

SUNDAY  PUNCH in an exclusive report said Doguwa was favoured by the APC  and the Kano  State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, to get the position.

Doguwa was presented at a thank-you visit by a Kano State Government  delegation  led by the Deputy Governor, Prof Hafizu Abubakar, to the APC National Working Committee in Abuja on Monday.

Members representing Kano State in the two chambers of the National Assembly and state House of Assembly, as well as the State Executive Committee of the APC were  part of the delegation.

Recall that the candidates of the APC – Ahmed Lawan, Ovie Omo-Agege, Femi Gbajabiamila and Ahmed Wase, had emerged as Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Deputy Speaker, respectively.

The results indicated that some PDP members voted  for them in the election against their party’s  instructions.

The PDP decided to  set up a committee to probe the roles played by some of its members in the polls.

The committee headed by a former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, is to establish the level of culpability of the members in the outcome of the election.

But speaking during the visit, Oshiomhole commended the  members of the party for voting for the APC candidates despite the secret ballot system used for  the election by the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sanni Omolori.

He said, “I was particularly excited when the clerk in breach of a court order insisted on conducting secret ballot and our party members in the two chambers proved their complete loyalty.

“The way the manner they did, such that the PDP that was calling for secret ballot, because they didn’t want people to know how people voted, are now conducting an inquiry into who voted for who among them. This is a complete violation of the essence of secret ballot.

“The idea of secret ballot is that nobody should know who voted for who. Now,  the PDP is going down in  history as a party that seeks to investigate how people voted in the secret ballot. That is a gross violation of the most basic principles of democracy regarding  secret ballot.”

Admitting that it was challenging to arrive at the choice of leadership for the two chambers, Oshiomhole said they succeeded  because they  learnt from past  mistakes.

He urged the principal officers to carry their colleagues along when making  decisions.

The former Edo State governor said the APC settled for Doguwa the Majority Leader seat  because his  state (Kano) contributed the highest votes to  President Muhammadu Buhari’s election.

He said  Doguwa was a vocal, eloquent and reliable member of the  party.

Oshiomhole added, “This is a fact that nobody can wish away, it cannot be over-emphasised because politics is a game of number.”

Earlier, Abubakar said the delegation was in Abuja to thank the national leadership  of the party for zoning the  Majority Leader position to Kano and for picking of Doguwa for the job.

He said the reign of Oshiomhole had brought good things to the APC.

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