The Senator representing Benue South Senatorial District, Senator Patrick Abba Moro has confirmed that he is bidding for the position of minority leader in the 10th Senate.
As the Senate resumes tomorrow (July 4) from its post-inauguration break, the selection of principal officers will be the next battle with the earlier emergence of Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senator Barau Jibrin as Senate President and Deputy Senate President respectively.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which has the majority seats (59 out of 109) in the Red Chamber is expected to produce the majority leader, deputy majority leader, chief whip and deputy chief whip, while minority leader, deputy minority leader, minority whip and deputy minority whip are reserved for the minority caucus. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the dominant opposition party with 36 seats will produce the minority leader and deputy leader.
In an interview at the weekend, Moro, a second term senator who was Chairman Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs in the 9th Senate, called on his party, the PDP to zone the position of minority leader for the 10th Senate to the North Central.
The former Minister of Interior and only PDP Senator re-elected in the North Central zone in the 10th Senate, said he has what it takes to effectively lead the opposition members in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly to achieve the best for Nigerians in the lawmaking process.
“Yes, we are in the process of selecting minority leader as you rightly pointed out. The process is on, and of course, I’m interested in becoming the minority leader of the Senate because I think I am qualified to be. I come from a region, a zone that is sometimes neglected so to say. I won’t call it marginalization but neglect. And that is the North Central zone. So, we expect that the PDP will zone the minority leadership of the senate of the caucus of minority parties to North Central. And if that happens, we have a parliamentary procedure that respects ranking in addition to other qualifications.
“There are so many persons that are also eminently qualified to be minority leader within the rank of the PDP. As you have rightly said, it’s a dominant opposition political party with 36 senators out of 50. And so we hope that at the end of the day when all the dynamics come into play, the party and the parties involved will do the needful and the right thing to get it right for Nigeria, so that the Senate can kick start the implementation of its agenda for the Nigerian people,” Moro stated.
On external forces trying to influence who becomes the minority leader of the 10th Senate, the Benue South Senator said: “Well, you know that politics is all about interest and so people generally will be interested. Those who want to contest to become leaders have interest. Those outside those who want to contest to become leaders also have interests to protect, to galvanize. And so, in all circumstances therefore there are interests. The minority leadership of the senate is not a personal mandate. It is not a personal institution. It’s for Nigeria.
“And Nigerians who have interests have a right to influence who they think would further their interests in the senate better. And so in politics I don’t see anything strange there. It’s just like in all contests people must work hard to gain the confidence of the people to support them to become what they want to be, even as it is in the interest of all Nigerians that the right people with the requisite qualifications are put in the positions of leadership to be able to further the cause of democracy and economic advancement of Nigerians.”