The senator representing Kogi Central in the National Assembly, Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, Sunday, denied reports that senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were handed automatic ticket by President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday.
Speaking in an interview with journalists in Abuja, Abatemi-Usman said there was no truth in the reports that automatic tickets were given to 40 out of 72 PDP senators at the meeting.
He described the reports as “misleading and completely untrue” blaming it on an unnamed senator whom he accused of claiming to be close to the President and PDP leadership.
Abatemi said he was at the meeting from the beginning to the end, and that at no point was any list of senators drafted as reported.
He said, “My colleague should be careful as he is becoming known as the purveyor of dubious information.
“I was at the meeting from the beginning to the end and at no point was any list of Senators drafted.
“It is unfortunate that a fellow senator would peddle such rumour and that respected national newspapers would publish the report without checking the facts”, he said.
Abatemi-Usman further explained that the senator he suspected to have sent out the false report, complained that his state governor was trying to scheme him out of office by installing his political opponents as electoral delegates in his senatorial district.
He added, “What our national chairman did after some senators had spoken their minds was to look at the situation in each state, and he said where there are issues, they will be resolved amicably.
“If there was any such list, my name definitely would have been included because the chairman said he is not aware that I am having any problem in Kogi Central while speaking on the situation in Kogi State”, he said.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, in a text message to our correspondent in Abuja at the weekend, confirmed that PDP had reached a truce with the aggrieved senators.
He said “yes, the party has agreed to give automatic ticket to at least, two senators of the party to return to the senate”.
Meanwhile, barely 48 hours after the alleged agreement between the PDP senators and President Jonathan for automatic ticket for 40 senators, the Governors of the party and other leaders of the party have continued to protest to the party leadership over the decision.
Their argument is that some of the senators do not have political value, even as they threatened to resist any plan by the party to impose the unproductive senators on the people. They pointing out that the alleged deal would alter zoning arrangements in the states.
Recall that the PDP senators had suspended sitting last week and even threatened to shut down the economy, in protest of the results of the ward congresses which they claimed left the party structures in the states in the hands of the governors.
To this end, a reconciliation meeting was scheduled between the PDP senators and President Jonathan, where an agreement was reportedly reached to give 40 serving senators automatic return ticket.