Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Some members of the House of Representatives have appealed to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to rescind the suspension of factional Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, and six others, over the leadership crisis in the caucus.
At a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, the lawmakers, led by Legor Idagbo, a PDP member from Cross River State, sued for peace in the stand-off between the opposition party and a faction of the minority caucus in the Green Chamber.
The House minority caucus broke into two factions last Wednesday, after Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila announced Elumelu, Toby Okechukwu, Gideon Gwani and Segun Adekoya as minority leader, deputy minority leader, minority whip and deputy minority whip, respectively.
The PDP in a letter to Gbajabiamila had nominated Kingsley Chinda, Chukwuka Onyema, Yakubu Barde and Muraina Ajibola as its choice for minority leader, deputy leader, minority whip and deputy minority whip respectively.
Last Friday, the PDP NWC suspended Elumelu, Okechukwu, Gideon Gwani and Adekoya for their role in the leadership crisis in the minority caucus.
Others suspended in relation to the crisis were Anayo Edwin, Wole Oke and Lynda Ikpeazu.
However, Idagbo said Elumelu and others elected by the minority members, to serve as their principal officers, have no direct roles in their election. He added that if any offence has been committed, the culprits would be the “111 lawmakers”, who elected them, in accordance with Order 7 (8) of the House Rules.
He said: “We, members of the minority party, adhered to the provision of our rules in the selection of the the minority leadership…With the greatest respect and huge sense of loyalty to our great party, we commend our national chairman for the great job of piloting the affairs of our party, he is doing. We also restate our resolve to work closely with the national chairman and our party in ensuring that our party returns to power in 2023.
“That said, we will like to state that the parliament since 1999 till date has remained an independent body that has not being coerced in accepting any leadership imposed on it by external influence; not in line with the wishes of the majority of members. We will like to appeal to our party chairman, the NWC , the BoT , the NEC , who we know are seasoned politicians and understand this dynamics to rescind their early decision to suspend our leaders and some of our colleagues, who through no fault of theirs were nominated and elected by majority of the members of the minority parties. Were there to be offence committed, perpetrators of this offence would be the 111 of us who nominated our colleagues to serve in that leadership position, not the seven members that have been so suspended by our party.”