- PDP members go against party nomination to vote minority leaders.
- Lawmakers pass a vote of confidence on Gbajabiamila.
Some members of the House of Representatives elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have faulted the suspension of the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, and five other leaders of the caucus by the opposition party.
The lawmakers pointed that PDP should have instead held the members who endorsed Elumelu and three others as minority principal officers responsible for the loss of the party’s nominees than suspending the lawmaker.
iDONSABI reports that PDP suspended Ndudi Elumelu and five other for one month and they are to face Disciplinary Committee, according to the party constitution after failing to accept the invite to a meeting at the weekend but the lawmakers had called for a rescheduling of the meeting, telling the party that they were out of Abuja.
The PDP had preferred Kingsley Chinda as Minority Leader; and three others as Deputy Minority Leader, Minority Whip and Deputy Minority Whip and sent the list to the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.
At the plenary last Tuesday, Gbajabiamila however, read a letter from a group of minority lawmakers, consisting of members of the PDP and other minority parties who claimed to number 111, nominating Elumelu as Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu as Deputy Minority Leader, Gideon Gwani as Minority Whip and Adesegun Adekoya as Deputy Minority Whip.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Monday, 25 of the lawmakers in support of Elumelu called for a rescission of the suspension, while passing a vote of confidence on Gbajabiamila.
Ochiglegor Idagbo, a PDP lawmaker from Cross River State who spoke on their behalf, cited Order 7 Rule 8 of the House Standing Rules as deriving its strength from Section 60 of the Constitution and stating that, “Members of the minority parties in the House shall nominate from among them, the Minority Leader, Minority Whip, Deputy Minority Leader and Deputy Minority Whip.”
Idagbo, who further stated that the rule was adhered to in the nomination of Elumelu and others as minority principal officers said Gbajabiamila has communicated the resolution by majority members of the minority caucus on July 2, 2019, and they went ahead in accordance with our rules to read same on the floor on July 3, 2019.
“That said, we would like to also state that the parliament, since 1999 till date, has remained an independent body that has not been coerced into accepting any leadership imposed on it by external influence, not in line with the wishes of the majority of its members.
“We would like to appeal to our party Chairman (Uche Secondus), the National Working Committee of our great party, the Board of Trustees of our party and the National Executive Council of our party, who we know are seasoned and experienced politicians that understand these dynamics, to rescind their earlier decision to suspend our leaders and some of our colleagues, who through no fault of theirs were nominated and elected by majority of members of the minority parties.
“If an offence had been committed in this process, the perpetrators should be all 111 of us who nominated our colleagues to serve in that leadership position, not the seven members suspended by our great party.”