- The leadership of the minority caucus at the House of Representatives has restated its commitment to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
- Ndudi Elumelu said that allegation that himself and other members of the minority caucus are disloyal to PDP is malicious
- According to Elumelu the reaction of the party in a recent statement on their suspension is completely against the principle of democracy, rule of law and fairness upon which the opposition was founded
The leader of the minority caucus of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, has denied allegations of disloyalty to the People Democratic Party (PDP).
Elumelu reacting to a statement by the PDP through its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Friday, November 8, said the reaction of the party is completely against the principle of democracy, rule of law and fairness upon which the opposition was founded.
Stating that the minority leader of the House of Representatives was elected in strict observance of Section 60 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Order 7 Rule 8 of the Standing Rule of the House of Representatives, Elumelu said he remains loyal to the party.
A statement released on Saturday, November 9, by Oyorima Idahosa, the special adviser on legal to the minority leader said Section 60 of the 1999 Constitution unambiguously states that subject to the provisions of this constitution, the Senate or the House of Representatives shall have power to regulate its own procedure, including the procedure for summoning and recess of the House.
Idahosa said that the Order 7 Rule 8 clearly states that “Members of the Minority Parties in the House shall nominate from among them, the Minority Leader, Minority Whip, Deputy Minority Leader, and Deputy Minority Whip”.
According to him, the overwhelming majority of the minority caucus comprising nine political parties (PDP, APGA, ADC, LP, SDP, PRP, AA, APM, ADP) followed the provisions and communicated their decision to the speaker in a letter.
He said that the letter which was dated July 22, 2019, was signed by over 100 members of the 147-member caucus.
He added that the conduct of the lawmakers during the process also falls within the framework of the spirit, ideals, beliefs and underlining principles of the PDP and our founding fathers who championed the enthronement of the tenets of democratic practice in Nigeria.
"It would be recalled that a similar attempt by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to foist leadership of the majority caucus on the National Assembly in 2015 could not stand as such obnoxious action was vehemently resisted by the Senate, which stuck to the list of elected leaders of the majority caucus submitted by APC senators," Idahosa said.
"The stand of our great party, which also had Prince Uche Secondus, the current National Chairman, as the acting national chairman at the time, is still very fresh on the minds of Nigerians. The PDP strongly criticized and lampooned the APC for impunity and meddlesomeness in the internal affairs of the parliament," he said.
He also added that it is ironical that the same party, under the same chairman, has now chosen the same path for which they pilloried the APC in 2015.
He warned that branding the minority leadership their colleagues as disloyal members of the PDP is malicious.
"It is equally curious that over four months after various organs of the party set up committees to investigate this matter and related issues bordering on PDP National Assembly caucus within two weeks, the party has been reluctant and/or refused to consider the reports of these various Committees so that the issues can be laid to rest," Idahosa added.
He further stated that the minority leadership urges the PDP to weigh its actions and not allow certain individuals with vested personal interests to destroy the reputation and democratic foundations of the party.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that PDP youth group had warned that the suspension of Elumelu and six other members of the House of Representatives is illegal.
The Youths Movement of Peoples Democratic Party said such move by the opposition would lead the party into chaos.
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