The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended the House Minority Leader, Ndidi Elumelu, and six others following their emergence as minority leaders in the National House of Representatives.
Naija Buzz News reported how the Speaker of the National House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, ignored the choices of the PDP and declared Elumelu the minority leader in the lower chamber.
Elumelu and his other colleagues (including the Deputy Minority Leader) were consequently suspended for indiscipline, insubordination and disobedience to the party’s decision.
The other six members who were suspended are; the representative of Oriade/Obokun Federal Constituency, Osun State, Wole Oke; representative of Onitsha North and Onitsha South Federal Constituency, Anambra State, Lynda Ikpeazu; representative of Ezza North/Ishielu Federal Constituency, Ebonyi State, Anayo Edwin; representative of Kaura Federal Constituency, Kaduna State, Gideon Gwani; representative of Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency, Enugu State, Toby Okechukwu; and representative of Ijebu-North/Ijebu-East/Ogun Waterside Federal Constituency, Adekoya Abdul-Majid.
The party’s decision to suspend them was announced by Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP National Publicity Secretary, in Abuja.
According to the PDP spokesman, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party reviewed the issues which led to the disagreement over the Minority Leadership of the House and the PDP noted the roles played by the suspended members.
“After the preliminary examination by the NWC, it was evident that the roles played by the above mentioned members, bordered on indiscipline, insubordination and disobedience, contrary to Section 58 (1)(b)(c)(f)(h) of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017),” he said.
The PDP in a letter (see a copy obtained by Naija Buzz News) which was sent to the Speaker of the House chose Mr. Kingsley Chinda, the member representing Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency, to emerge as the House Minority Leader; Chukwuka Onyema (Deputy Minority Leader); Yakubu Barde (Minority Whip); and Muraina Ajibola (Deputy Minority Whip).
The PDP also urged the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Police to summoun Gbajabiamila for allegedly threatening Mr. Chinda in the House.
According to the PDP, the Speaker had no justification to threaten the factional Minority Leader of the House.
The party further noted that Nigerians should hold Gbajabiamila responsible should anything happen to the factional Minority Leader Chinda or any member of his family.
“Gbajabiamila exhibited personal hostility, with threats that Chinda would ‘regret’ taking his rightful seat as the bona fide Leader of the Minority in the House.
“This vicious outburst by Gbajabiamila is a direct threat and affront to our democratic order. The rights of the minority members in the House of Representatives, the people of Obio/Akpo Federal
Constituency and sensibility of millions of members of the PDP who nominated Chinda for minority leadership position.
“The PDP, in the strongest terms, condemns this outburst and demands the Speaker retract his inciting threats against Chinda within the next 24 hours.”
“The PDP also invites the police and the Department of State Services to summon Gbajabiamila to explain the intents of his threats.”
How Elumelu reacted to their suspension
The Minority Leader in his reaction expressed shock over the decision of the party to suspend him and his colleagues.
He explained why he was unable to honour the summoun of the party on Thursday following his emergence as Minority Leader in the House.
“I am surprised and shocked that the NWC of our great party can sit and take a decision without giving room for fair hearing.
“I lost an aunt and left Abuja immediately after plenary in the House of Representatives on Thursday and travelled to Delta State.
“Although I left immediately after sitting, not midnight, my gateman received the letter at 7.45pm and he called me at 8pm. I was informed by my gateman who received the letter from the party at 7.45pm and called me at 8pm.
“I tried to reach out to the other members named in the letter to see if they could be at the meeting and found out they were also out of town. Out of respect for the party, I asked my special assistant to write to the party and request a new date. I would have expected that if the date we suggested was not convenient for the party, they would have proposed another day.”
Jonathan Dennis is an Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He oversees the production and publication of stories on NaijaBuzz.News and on Naija Buzz News TV. The former banker left his banking job to join Naija Buzz News in 2019. He was briefly the head of the “Wetin Dey Happen” news team. Jonathan is a proud ‘Akwa-Ibomite’ from Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria.