Hon. Ndudi Elumelu

Some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers in the House of Representatives have tackled the party for suspending Ndudi Elumelu, minority leader of the house.

Addressing journalists on Monday, the lawmakers said Elumelu and other principal minority officers were duly elected.

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Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker, had announced Elumelu as minority leader, Toby Okechukwu as deputy minority leader, Gideon Gwani as minority whip and Adesegun Adekoya as deputy minority whip.

The speaker said he was informed of their emergence via a letter from the minority parties.

But the PDP, which had endorsed separate candidates — including Kingsley Chinda as minority leader — kicked against the move and subsequently suspended Elumelu and those announced by Gbajabiamila.

Addressing the journalists in Abuja, the minority lawmakers called on the PDP to rescind the suspension and adopt dialogue instead.

Ochiglegor Idagbo from Cross River state, who spoke on their behalf, said while the lawmakers remain devoted to the PDP, suspending the elected officers will only worsen the situation.

“That said, we would like to also state that the parliament, since 1999 till date, has remained an independent body that has not been coerced into accepting any leadership imposed on it by external influence, not in line with the wishes of the majority of its members,” he said.

“We would like to appeal to our party leaders, who we know are seasoned and experienced politicians that understand these dynamics, to rescind their earlier decision to suspend our leaders and some of our colleagues, who through no fault of theirs were nominated and elected by majority of members of the minority parties.

“If an offence had been committed in this process, the perpetrators should be all 111 of us who nominated our colleagues to serve in that leadership position, not the seven members suspended by our great party.”