Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
Youths in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are exchanging invectives on the raging controversy over the emergence of minority officers in the House of Representatives.
PDP youths in the South West, under the aegis of PDP Youths Congress, (PDPYC), alleged that Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has been instructed to begin the suspension of some notable PDP house members. They warned President Muhammadu Buhari of the consequences of his silence in the face of alleged flagrant lawlessness and authoritarianism being allegedly perpetrated by his party leaders.
Reacting, APC youths speaking through the party’s Ekiti State spokesman, Are Ajayi, described the allegation as not only untrue but laughable.
Rising from a meeting in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday, the PDPYC convener, Oluwole Durojaiye, alleged that a meeting was held in Abuja on Friday night where it was agreed to flush out 10 PDP members who “are seen as arrowheads of the opposition against the alleged impositon and illegal appointment of minority principal officers by the Speaker.
“Another meeting will be held in Ibadan, Oyo State, in two weeks time. Nigerians should recall that the PDP sent a letter dated June 21, 2019, to the Speaker in which names of minority principal officers were listed. Gbajabiamila, however, ignored the letter and announced other members as minority principal officers, an action which caused uproar in the House on Wednesday.
The PDP responded yesterday, by suspending Ndudi Elumelu, Wole Oke, Lynda Ikpeazu, Anayo Edwin, Gideon Gwadi, Toby Okechukwu and Adekoya Abdul-Majid, on the ground that preliminary examination by the National Working Committee showed that the roles played by them in the House of Reps minority principal officers’ issue bordered on indiscipline, insubordination and disobedience of party directives contrary to Section 58 (1)(b)(c)(f)(h) of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017).
“Ostensibly in response to the PDP’s suspension of the minority principal officers imposed by Gbajabiamila, a meeting was called and the Speaker was expressly instructed to suspend Kingsley Chinda, Muraina Ajibola, Yakubu Barde, Chukwuka Onyema, T. J. Yussuf and Mark Gbillah.
“The entire world knows the position of majority and minority parties in the Parliament. The world knows that once the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Parliament are elected, it is the majority and minority parties that appoint other principal officers.
“Therefore, if in a Federal Government headed by President Buhari, a man who claims to have integrity, a Speaker of the House of Representatives, who allowed APC to chose its majority principal officers but disallowed PDP from doing same, is now being directed to suspend notable members of opposition in the House, Nigerians are watching.
“President Buhari should remember that those party members of his perpetrating crude illegalities will not be mentioned in future. Only the President will be mentioned when in future, Nigerians will make reference to whatever that is done now.
“Today, when making reference to those who ruled Nigeria in the past, no one will mention the names of those who worked with them. On this House of Reps issue, only the name of Buhari will be mentioned in future as both the President and leader of APC under whose rules of the House were violated and members threatened by a Speaker who is fast becoming a dictator.
“Therefore, as an elderly person, who should be making restitutions for whatever he had done wrong in the past, President Buhari should save his name and do the right thing, so that in future, Nigerians will remember him for good and not as a President, under whose impunity and disregard for laid down rules reigned supreme.
Debunking the claims, Ajayi said: “What those youths are claiming is not true and cannot be true. It is the PDP who should put its house in order. President Buhari remains the father of the nation, he cannot be seen and would not be seen to be taking sides with any party. It is the PDP that should put its house in order I repeat.”