There was a rowdy session in the House of Representatives on Wednesday leading to the emergence of two Peoples Democratic Party caucus members, Mr Kingsley Chinda and Ndidi Elumelu as factional Minority Leaders of the House of Representatives.
It started as soon as Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, announced that he had a letter from opposition members and wanted to read it.
His comments sparked an immediate protest from Hon. Kingsley Chinda. He raised a point of order but Gbajabiamila ruled him out of order and proceeded to read the list of minority principal officers.
At this point, some opposition members approached the mace, as others from the ruling party surged forward. As the House turned rowdy, some engaged in shoving and pushing.
As the situation increasingly got out of hand, the Speaker adjourned sitting to the delight of his supporters, who hailed him and shook hands with him as he stepped out of the Green Chamber.
There were speculations by evening that the opposition party may invite its member’s to rein them in, in the face of the division among its member’s which emerged during the election of the four presiding officers of the Senate and House.
Against the grain of the party’s directive to vote for Senator AI Ndume as Senate President, and Umar Bago as Speaker, the voting pattern showed that many opposition lawmakers ignored the party.
A committee of the party is investigating what actually happened.
In a statement, the PDP rejects Gbajabiamila’s attempt to impose Minority Leadership.
It said: “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rejects the attempt by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, to impose leaders for our party in the House of Representatives.
“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 recognized 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.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the list forwarded to the Speaker by the PDP is as follows:
- Hon. Kingsley Chinda – Minority Leader
- Hon. Chukwuka Onyema- Deputy Minority Leader
- Hon. Yakubu Barde – Minority Whip,
- Hon. Muraina Ajibola – Deputy Minority Whip”.