BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE
IF the outcome of last Saturday’s National Assembly polls was to determine Saturday’s presidential election, then the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP can go to bed with the presidential mantle in its kitty.
Although, the party’s collection of federal legislature laurels has dwindled, it nevertheless has maintained its lead such that its electoral hauls are more than the collections of all the opposition parties put together.
Among the nine parties that won National Assembly seats, it was the only party that won both Senate and House of Representatives seats in all the six geo-political zones. It also dominated the NASS elections in all the zones apart from the South-West where the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, held sway.
Of the 94 Senate and 312 House of Representatives seats contested for only 89 senate and 282 House of Reps results had been released as of press time. And out of these, the PDP had 58 Senate and 158 House of Reps seats. Altogether, the remaining eight parties have 31 senate and 124 House of Reps slots.
PDP’s closest opponent – ACN, which has improved its national spread in all the geo-political zones apart from South-East, has 13 Senate and 53 House of Reps positions and is fast toppling All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, which has seven Senate and 20 HOR seats, as the main opposition party.
The Congress for Progressive Change cornered six senatorial and 35 HOR posts, Labour Party got three Senate and eight House seats followed by All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) with one Senate and two House slots. Democratic Peoples Party, DPP won a senatorial seat. The duo of Accord Party (AP) and Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) have four and two House positions respectively.
The scenario has forced some leading opposition parties to mull the idea of going into alliance to checkmate the PDP in the race for Aso Rock but the alliance moves were at press time yet to be concretised and appear set to hit the brickwall.
On its part, the PDP is waving its usual unity government masterstroke to woo the opposition to its side.
Although, it is leading at the NASS polls, the PDP is yet to get the number of seats it requires to have two-third majority in both chambers of the National Assembly. For the Senate, it needs 73 seats and for the House, 240 members.
To get the desired magic numbers, PDP has to win 16 of the remaining 20 Senate positions. PDP can no longer get two-third majority in the House of Representatives because only 78 seats are available and its needs 82 to hit the required 240. As it were, it is highly improbable that PDP will have two-third majority in the National Assembly in the next dispensation as the party has been having since the second stanza of the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo era.
The import is that if he wins, President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP may have to embark on a lot of lobbying and consultations to get his legislative proposals passed by the legislature. It is therefore not surprising that the PDP is waving the ‘come one, come all’ flag. It is to be seen if the party’s offer will jell with the opposition parties.