The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been advised to forget the issue of Ndudi Elumelu being named the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, and face matters of bigger concerns in the country like the Ruga settlement for herders.
An elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, gave the advice to the opposition party when he addressed newsmen at his residence in Abuja on Sunday.
The PDP had gotten irritated after Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila named Elumelu as the Majority Leader of the House against the party’s design. The party had wanted Kingsley Chinda for that position.
In its response to the action of the House Speaker, the PDP had since suspended Elumelu and six others for one month.
But Clark, a former Federal Commissioner of Information said, “I think democracy should be allowed to prevail in this country and institutions should be allowed to do their jobs. There is no place, even in the PDP constitution, which says they should nominate people and give to the House. There is nothing like that.
“But the National Assembly has rules and regulations. Rule 8 says that elected members of the House, whether they are majority or minority, should sit among themselves and elect their members.
‘’They didn’t say one political party should nominate people for the chairman or secretary to come and submit to National Assembly. I don’t think there is anything like that. But the party has to be in the know, I agree; we should be thinking about major things.
“I think this (minority leadership controversy) is a very minor issue. There are major issues in this country that PDP should concern itself with. I agree that everybody belongs to one party and should project individuals, perhaps having regards to Amaechi’s case in those days. That it is the party that participated in the election, not individuals.”
Clark accused the PDP of being the originator of the current controversy surrounding the House minority leadership, recalling how a few years ago when PDP was in power, how it established an example that has now returned to haunt it.
“PDP alone has established the precedent. In the 7th Assembly, PDP zoned the speakership position to the South-West. It was not zoned to South-East or North-West but members said they would regulate their own functions, that they would elect someone of their choice. Even PDP, in President Jonathan’s time, disagreed with them.
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“But the same PDP said at that time that it was the same Gbajabiamila who was the minority leader that was behind PDP members in the House at that time when Tambuwal, then a member of the House from Sokoto said he would contest against a lady, Mulikat Akande, and Ihedioha was to be his deputy.
“Everyone of us went to the House, including BoT chairman, Late Chief Tony Anenih. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, was there and so many PDP members were there and election was conducted among themselves.
‘’Ruga is there and there are many other things in this country that are going wrong. PDP should play the role of opposition effectively in those areas and leave this matter. It is done,” he said.
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