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Minority lawmakers ask PDP to rescind Elumelu’s suspension, insist he was duly elected



Some members of the House of Representatives have challenged the decision of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to suspend the Ndudi Elumelu-led minority leadership

The lawmakers said the 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.

Recall that the PDP had nominated Kingsley Chinda as Minority Leader and three others as Deputy Minority Leader, Minority Whip and Deputy Minority Whip respectively, and sent the list to the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.

However, Gbajabiamila had read a letter from a group of minority lawmakers, consisting of members of the PDP and other minority parties who claimed to number 111, at the plenary last Tuesday, nominating Elumelu as Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu as Deputy Minority Leader, Gideon Gwani as Minority Whip and Adesegun Adekoya as Deputy Minority Whip.

PDP kicked against the move, suspended Elumelu and those announced by Gbajabiamila for one month.

While addressing journalists in Abuja on Monday, 25 of the pro-Elumelu lawmakers called for a rescission of the suspension, while passing a vote of confidence on Gbajabiamila.

READ ALSO: REPS MINORITY LEADERSHIP: Let Elumelu be, face Ruga, other big issues, Clark tells PDP

A PDP lawmaker from Cross River State, Mr Ochiglegor Idagbo, who spoke on their behalf, stated 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.”

He added that, “The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has communicated the resolution by majority members of the minority caucus on July 2, 2019, and he 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.

“Finally, we use this opportunity to sue for peace and to state that we are available for further discussions with our party, the NWC, the party Chairman, the NEC of our great party and the BoT on a way to resolve these issues and to move our party forward.

“We also use this opportunity to call on well-meaning party leaders, particularly those with legislative experience, to intervene on our behalf in order for this matter to be laid to rest so as not to affect the fortunes of our party in the future.”

Igbagbo, while answering questions from journalists, said he would make available the list of the 111 lawmakers who supported Elumelu.

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