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Elumelu kicks as PDP slams him, five others suspension

By Adekunle Adebayo, Abuja

The leadership crisis rocking House of Representatives on Friday took a new dimension as the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party announced the suspension of the newly elected Minority leader, Hon. Ndidi Elumelu.

Elumelu, who is representing Aniocha/ Oshimili federal constituency of Delta State was suspended along six other PDP members of the House of Representatives.

The NWC under the leadership of Prince Uche Secondus hinged its decision on the alleged refusal of Elumelu and other PDP lawmakers to appear before the committee on Friday morning at the Wadata House.

The suspended include: member representing Oriade/Obokun Federal Constituency of Osun State, Wole Oke; member representing Onitsha North and Onitsha South Federal constituency, Lynda Ikpeazu and member representing Ezza North/Ishielu federal constituency, Anayo Edwin.

Others are: member representing Kaura Federal Constituency election in Kaduna State, Gideon Gwani; member representing Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency of Enugu State, Toby Okechukwu and member representing Ijebu-North/Ijebu- East/Ogun Waterside Federal Constituency, Adekoya Abdul-Majid.

Meanwhile, the suspended newly minority leader has expressed shock over his suspension from the party by members of NWC, saying such action is in haste.

Elumelu explained in a statement made available to journalists, that he and his suspended colleagues got the invitation to appear before the party lately on Thursday.

He added that by the time he and others got the invitation he, the Deputy Minority Leader, the Minority Whip, the Deputy Minority Whip and all other lawmakers invited had already travelled out of Abuja.

He further explained that despite getting the invitation lately, he directed his aide to notify the party in writing of his inability to honour the invitation.

“Out of the respect he has for the party, he instructed his Special Assistant to notify the party in writing, conveying their in ability to honour the party’s invitation as directed,” the statement read.

It added, “However, as obedient and loyal party members, the Minority Leader said they had asked the NWC for another date to appear before it only for the party to hastily suspend them, in flagrant contravention of the principles of fair hearing.”

Elumelu argued that he and his colleagues selected to lead the opposition parties in the House of Representatives didn’t contravene the laws regulating the selection of members into leadership positions and wondered why his party suspend them from the party they have strengthened over the years.

The Minority Leader noted that their selection as leaders by their colleagues of the minority parties was in strict compliance with Order 7, Rule 8 of the House of Representatives.

He said, “As loyal party members, we had thought that the PDP NWC would have availed us the opportunity of fair hearing, robust and constructive engagements before taking such drastic action on elected representatives who have over years, strengthened and protected the corporate interest of the party and Nigeria in general.

“We have become good ambassadors of the PDP and we don’t deserve this kind of treatment. Our alleged suspension negates the spirit and letter of fair hearing which is at the heart of the 1999 Nigeria Constitution and extant laws of the land.

“We love PDP and we are ready to meet with the party leadership as we have no other party to call our own than the PDP.

“We, therefore, call on the NWC to rescind its decision of suspending us,in the interest of the PDP, the National Assembly and Nigeria as a whole.”

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