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Wike, Okowa’s candidates battle for Reps’ minority leader



Wike, Okowa’s candidates battle for Reps’ minority leader

Ossai, Chinda tipped


Ahead of the caucus meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scheduled for this week, two members of the opposition party are in contention for the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

They are erstwhile chairman of the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta) and Hon. Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers).

Both Ossai and Chinda are being supported by their governors, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Chief Nyesom Wike of Rivers. “That is why it has been difficult for the caucus to make a choice between the two,” a source said.

A source in the party told New Telegraph that apart from the two, immediate past minority leader, Hon. Leo Ogor (PDP, Rivers) and his deputy, Hon. Onyema Chukwuka (PDP, Anambra) are also interested in the position, but they seem not to enjoy wide acceptability within the House caucus and the party.

He said: “While many House members agree that Hon. Ogor did a fantastic job as minority leader in the 8th Assembly, his illness in the last two years were uneventful, since he spent most of the time outside the chambers due to illness. And so, the party leaders want him to leave the position and take care of himself.

“Some are also of the view that Chukwukwa Onyema does not have the bite required of an opposition leader. He appears too gentle and cannot put the ruling party on its toes.”

Recall that the PDP Senate caucus, last week, announced Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe as its minority leader with Senators Philip Aduda, Emmanuel Bwacha and Clifford Ordia as deputy minority leader, minority whip and deputy minority Whip respectively.

“The party has been consulting and will meet anytime this week to resolve the issue of who becomes the House minority leader. Although, many candidates had expressed interest in the position, Hon. Nicholas Ossai and Hon. Kingsley Chinda are clear favourites.

“But the only problem is that Ossai and Chinda are candidates of their governors, so it is very difficult to resolve it. The Delta governor is arguing that since Rivers State has the position of national chairman (Secondus), Delta should be allowed to produce the House minority leader,” the source said.

New Telegraph also gathered that the race for deputy minority leader was for grabs with former minority whip, Hon. Umar Barde (PDP, Kaduna), Hon. Kwewum Shawulu (PDP, Taraba) and Hon. T.J. Yusuf (PDP, Kogi).

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