PDP suspends Elumelu, 6 others over Reps minority leadership crisis

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , yesterday, suspended  seven members  of the House of Representatives, including the member  representing Aniocha /Oshimili Federal Constituency, Ndudi Elumelu  for one month for their role in the leadership crisis rocking the minority caucus in the Green Chamber.

Others suspended are Toby Okechukwu,   Wole Oke,  Lynda Ikpeazu, Anayo Edwin,  Gideon Gwani and Adekoya Abdul-Majid.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, stated this while briefing journalists after a meeting of the opposition party’s National Working Committee (NWC),in Abuja, yesterday. Ologbondiyan said the seven lawmakers were suspended for their role in the leadership crisis rocking the House minority caucus.

The party had on Thursday  in a letter by its National Secretary, Umar Tsauri,  summoned the seven lawmakers to appear before the NWC yesterday.

However, in  response to the summon,  the lawmakers, in a letter by Elumelu’s Personal Assistant ( P.A), Sam Audu, said they were out of Abuja. They requested that their appearance before the NWC should be rescheduled for Thursday,July 18  or Friday, July 19.

The letter reads in part: “I am to Inform you that the House Minority Leader. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu and other members invited are currently out of Abuja. Notwithstanding, I have notified him and other members about the letter of invitations and they requested that l notify you about their absence from Abuja.

“In the view of the above, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu and other members invited are requesting  that the meeting should  be rescheduled for either Thursday 18th  July at 4:00 pm after plenary or Friday. 19th  July at 10:00 am.

“Hon. Ndudi Elumelu and other members invited regret any inconvenience that their absence not to attend the meeting with NWC.”

The minority caucus,  was thrown into  crisis on Wednesday after the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila announced Elumelu, Okechukwu, Gwani and  Abdul-Majid as minority leader, deputy minority leader, minority whip and deputy minority whip respectively, against the decision of the PDP.

Gbajabiamila had explained that the quartet were chosen as leaders of the minority caucus by opposition lawmakers from all the nine political parties in the House.

The opposition party had in a letter to  Gbajabiamila nominated Kingsley Chinda, Chukwuka Onyema, Yakubu Barde and Muriana Ajibola as its choice for minority leader, deputy minority leader, minority whip and deputy minority whip respectively.

The PDP spokesman noted that “after preliminary examination by the NWC, it was evident that the roles played by the above mentioned members, bordered on indiscipline, insubordination and disobedience of party directives contrary to Section 58 (1)(b)(c)(f)(h) of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017), which provides that:

“Subject to the provision of this Constitution, the party shall have power to discipline any member who says or does anything likely to bring the party into disrepute, hatred or contempt; disobeys or neglects to carry out lawful directives of the party or any organ or officer of the party; engages in anti-party activities; or engages in any conduct likely to cause disaffection among members of the party or is likely to disrupt the peaceful, lawful and efficient conduct of the business of the party.

“Consequent upon this, the above mentioned members of our party are hereby suspended for one month and this matter is hereby referred to the National Disciplinary Committee of our party, in keeping with Section 57(3) of the PDP Constitution.”

Meanwhile, the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, yesterday, insisted that Chinda remained the opposition party’s choice for the position of minority leader of the House of Representatives.

Secondus told journalists in Abuja, midway into the PDP NWC meeting, that “ Hon. Kingsley Chinda is our minority leader and all the other positions as we have communicated to the Speaker House of  Representatives.

“You are also aware that it was with the same process that we communicated to the Senate and the Senate has done a fine job, they have announced our leadership as sent without rancour but it is surprising that the Speaker had to generate his own list. This is against parliamentary rules or what is tenable at the Parliament.”

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