NASS leadership: PDP flays Gbajabiamila over imposition of Elumelu

Femi Gbajabiamila, Majority Leader, House of Reps

-BOT Chair backs Elumelu

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is spoiling for a showdown with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila over the announcement of Hon Ndudi Elumelu from Delta State of the PDP as the minority leader.

The party through its national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus had written to the Speaker informing him of the decision of the party to nominate Mr Kingsley Chinda as the minority leader.

The letter also nominated Chukwuka Onyema as Deputy Minority Leader; Yakubu Barde as Minority Whip and Muraina Ajibola as Deputy Minority Whip.

However Gbajabiamila in a letter which he said was signed by 99 lawmakers from minorities parties announced aside Elumelu as the minority leader also announced Toby Okechukwu as Deputy Minority Leader, Gideon Gwani as Minority Whip and Adesegun Adekoya as Deputy Minority Whip.

Gbajabiamila’s action was rejected by some lawmakers led by Chinda who attempted to raise a point of order but was overruled by the Speaker which sparked more protest as some lawmakers were engaged in a free for all forcing the House to adjourn abruptly.

The PDP in a statement by Kola Ologbodiyan accused Gbajabiamila of attempting to impose a leadership on the minority parties.

He said “It is instructive to state that the PDP had duly written to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, after consultation with other minority members in the House of Representatives, notifying him of members that have been selected for leadership position in the House of Representatives, in line with dictates of the rules and parliamentary practice.

“However, to our utter dismay, the PDP had discovered that the Speaker attempted to smuggle in names other than those recognised and forwarded to him as the leaders of the Minority in the House of Representatives.

“The PDP, in the strongest terms, cautions against this abuse of rules, parliamentary practices and procedures, as well as the convention and we, urge the Speaker to respect the rules and read the list submitted to him by the leadership of the PDP.”

A source in the House said the decision by the PDP to “arrogate to itself the sole power to nominate the minority leaders” did not go down well with other political parties who felt they were not carried along and they decided to team up with Elumelu and others to move against Chinda.

“The House Rules says the lawmakers should choose their leaders among themselves. It did not say a chairman of a party should send a letter to the Speaker. Secondus is not a member of the House of Representatives to the Speaker is not under any compulsion to read the letter from Secondus”

Investigations revealed that Elumelu is working with some powerful forces in the PDP to cut Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State to size as it is believed that he was the one that actually imposed Chinda on the party through Secondus.

Already the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Alhaji Walid Jibril has endorsed Elumelu and has assured that the BOT would assist the new leaders to succeed.

Jibril said “I want to congratulate you. We are taking with one voice. What you have done is what we have done in the past. I hope nobody will come to make any challenge. We are going to defend what you have done to the best of our ability that these people elected will remain in the House of Representatives.
“I want to assure you that we are in opposition, but we are not on the blind opposition. We have to cooperate with others to move Nigeria forward. The BoT is well organized and I assure you that we are behind you,”