Hon. Ndidi Elumelu, the factional minority leader of the House of Representatives, who was announced by the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila on Wednesday, has expressed disappointment over his suspension by the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).
Background: The PDP National Working Committee (NWC), had after a meeting on Friday suspended Ndidi Elumelu, Lynda Ikpeazu, Wole Oke, Gideon Gwadi, Anayo Edwin, Toby Okechukwu and Adekoya Abdul-Majid.
The PDP had earlier said that the roles played by the suspended members “resulted in the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, reading another list for Minority Leadership of the House other than the list submitted to him by our party, the PDP.”
- He described it as “… unfortunate if the party suspends its most loyal member for towing the path of honour and Constitutionalism. I owe my Party and it’s Leaders a duty of care to advise appropriately as one the Ranking Members of the House. I have discharged that duty.
- “I advised My Party Leaders appropriately about our House Rules provisions about nomination of our Leadership. That PDP alone can’t do it without other 8 Political Parties. On Speakership, PDP had no candidate. I follow my conscience, I follow what my Constituents clamoured for. I followed practices and Conventions.
- “I am surprised and shocked, that the National Working Committee of our great party, the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) can sit and take a decision without giving room for fair hearing.”
Throwback: Four years ago, a similar scenario unfolded in the All Progressives Congress (APC) when PDP lawmakers reached an agreement with a faction of the APC to elect Sen. Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara as Senate President and Speaker respectively. So it seems that the PDP has been dealt a pound of flesh this time too.
What happens next is anybody’s guess. The suspended members cannot be minority leaders if they defect to the ruling party as a result of their suspension. Defecting to any of the smaller opposition parties may also not be enough because the PDP as the largest opposition would produce the minority leader. So their next step would be very crucial for their political futures as well as for party supremacy.