The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended seven members of the House of Representatives for one month for the roles they played that led 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 the party.
The matter was also referred to the National Disciplinary Committee of the party, in keeping with Section 57(3) of the PDP Constitution.
The members are Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, who was announced as the House Minority Leader. Others suspended were Hon. Wole Oke, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu, Hon. Anayo Edwin, Hon. Gideon Gwadi, Hon. Toby Okechukwu and Hon. Adekoya Abdul-Majid. They were also those announced by Gbajabiamila as minority leaders.
Party spokesman, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan said in a statement that the decision followed Friday’s meeting of the NWC which reviewed issues surrounding the Minority Leadership of the House.
He adds: “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”.
But Elumelu thinks the party was unfair to him adding that the decision was hasty, unjustifiable, and without recourse to due process and fair hearing.
A statement released by him explained he was out of town over a bereavement and was unavailable to face the leadership of the party as requested on Friday.
Curiously, too, the other members suspended were out of town the day the PDP leadership sought to meet them.
He expressed shock “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.
“I had expected that if the date we suggested was not convenient for the party, they would have proposed another day when we could appear before them.
“I have great respect for the party and am ready to serve.”
“It is unfortunate if the party suspends its most loyal members for towing the path of honour and constitutionalism.
“I owe my party and its leaders a duty of care to advise appropriately as one the ranking member of the house and I have discharged that duty.
“I advised my leaders appropriately about the House Rules and provisions on nomination of leadership and that PDP alone cannot do it without other eight minority political parties.
“On the Speakership, PDP had no candidate, I followed my conscience, I follow what my constituents clamoured for, I followed practices and conventions.”