The Minority Caucus in the House of Representative has called on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rescind its decision on the suspension of Minority Principal Officers of the House.
At a news conference on Monday in Abuja, the caucus passed a vote of confidence on the suspended officers as well as Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP had on Thursday, July 4, suspended Rep. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta), who is the Minority Leader of the house.
The party also suspended Rep. Toby Okechukwu (PDP-Enugu), the Deputy Minority Leader; Rep. Gideon Gwani (PDP-Kaduna), the Minority Whip, Rep. Adesegu Adekoya (PDP-Ogun), the Deputy Minority and two ranking members, Rep. Wole Oke (PDP-Ogun) and Rep. Lynda Ikpeazu (PDP-Anambra).
The PDP had earlier endorsed Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers) as the Minority Leader, Rep. Chukwuka Onyema (PDP-Anambra), Deputy Minority Leader, Rep. Yakubu Bade (PDP-Kaduna) as Minority Whip and Rep. Muraina Ajibola (PDP-Oyo) as Deputy Minority Whip.
Speaking on behalf of the caucus, Rep. Legor Idagbo (PDP-Cross River) said the selection of the officers was in conformity with the house rules and Order 7 Rule 8, which derives strength from section 60 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Quoting the rules, Idagbo said: “members of the minority parties in the house shall nominate from among themselves, the Minority Leader, Minority Whip, Deputy Minority Leader and Deputy Minority Whip.”
Idagbo said that members of the minority parties adhered to the provisions of the rules in selecting Rep. Ndudi Elumelu, as Minority Leader.
He said that the rule was also applied in selecting Rep. Toby Okechukwu as Deputy Minority Leader, Rep. Gideon Gwani as Minority Whip and Rep. Adesegun Adekoya as Deputy Minority Whip.
He said Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos) was communicated by majority members of minority parties on July 2 and the decision which was announced on July 3, 2019.
Idagbo said that the parliament since 1999 had remained an independent body as it has not been coerced into accepting any leadership imposed by external influence.
“We would like to appeal to our party chairman and the NWC of our great party, who we know are seasoned and experienced politicians that understand this dynamics to rescind their earlier decision to suspend our leaders.
“Through no fault of theirs were nominated and elected by majority of members of the minority parties; were an offense to had been committed in this process, the perpetrators would be all 111 of us not six members as were suspended by our great party.
“We use this opportunity to sue for peace and to state that we are available for further discussions with the NWC of our great party on how to resolve these issues and move our party forward,” he said.
The caucus called on well- meaning party leaders, particularly those with legislative experience to intervene in order to salvage the situation.
The lawmakers commended the National Chairman of the PDP, Mr Uche Secondus for the great job of piloting the affairs of the party that had seen its fortune increased in the last few years.
The caucus said it remained resolute to work closely with the national chairman and the party in ensuring that it returns to power in 2023.