- Speaker Gbajabiamila says the party has no sole authority over the emergence of principal in the house.
- Elumelu says he is ready to serve and gives high regard to PDP.
Ndudi Elumelu, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives has expressed shock over his suspension by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The House of Representatives recognises Elumelu as the Minority Leader than Kingsley Chinda, who is supported by the PDP.
The lawmaker representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituent in the National Assembly in a statement on Friday in Abuja said that he was surprised that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party would suspend him without a fair hearing.
It could be recalled that the lawmakers and six other suspended members were initially invited by the NWC to appear before the committee and explain how they emerged principal officers against the will of the party.
They, however, failed to appear before the committee scheduled for Friday, July 5.
Explaining his absence, Elumelu said due to the death of an aunt, he left Abuja immediately after Thursday’s plenary for Delta.
He further said that it was in the night and that his gate-man received the letter of invitation at about 7.45p.m. on Thursday.and the gate-man called him at 8 p.m. to inform him of the development and that he tried to reach out to other members named in the letter to see if they could be at the meeting.
He further explained that he also found out that other members were also out of town, so, he directed a Special Assistant to convey the message to the NWC and request for a new date.
“I am surprised and shocked that the National Working Committee of our great party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) can sit and take a decision without giving room for a fair hearing.
“I had expected that if the date we suggested was not convenient for the party, they would have proposed another day when we could appear before them.”
Elumelu who stated that he has great respect for the party and ready to serve.
It could be recalled that the PDP, being the major minority party in the house, in line with precedence, earlier wrote to the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, nominating Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers) as the Minority Leader, Rep. Chukwuka Onyema (PDP-Anambra) as Deputy Minority Leader, Rep Yakubu Barde (PDP-Kaduna) as Minority Whip and Rep. Muraina Ajibola (PDP-Oyo) as Deputy Minority Whip.
The speaker, however, announced Rep. Ndudi Godwin Elumelu as Minority Leader, Rep. Toby Okechukwu as Deputy Minority Leader, Rep. Gideon Gwani as Minority Whip and Rep. Adesegun Adekoya- Deputy Minority Whip.
According to the Speaker, the lawmakers were chosen across all minority parties in the house and that the PDP alone could not dictate who leads the minority parties.
Elumelu further stated that it is unfortunate if the party suspended its most loyal members for towing the path of honour and constitutionalism.
“I owe my party and its leaders a duty of care to advise appropriately as one the ranking member of the house and I have discharged that duty.
“I advised my leaders appropriately about the House Rules and provisions on nomination of leadership and that PDP alone cannot do it without other eight minority political parties.
“On the Speakership, PDP had no candidate, I followed my conscience, I follow what my constituents clamoured for, I followed practices and conventions,” he said.