By Taiye Agbaje
Some members of the minority parties in the House of Representatives have thrown their weight behind the announcement of Rep Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta) as Minority Leader of the lower chamber.
They expressed their support, on Wednesday, at a news briefing in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, had, at the Wednesday’s plenary, announced names of minority leadership chosen by members, while disregarding the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s letter endorsing some members for the positions.
The PDP had chosen Reps Kingsley Chinda as Minority Leader; Chukwuka Onyema (PDP-Anambra), Deputy Minority Leader; Yakubu Bade (PDP-Kaduna), Minority Whip and Muraina Ajibola (PDP-Oyo; Deputy Minority Whip.
However, Gbajabiamila announced Elumelu as Minority Leader; Reps Toby Okechukwu (PDP-Enugu), Deputy Minority Leader; Gideon Gwami, Minority Whip and Adesegun Adekoya as Deputy Minority Whip.
Speaking, Rep Leke Abejide (ADC-Kogi) said he personally signed in support of Elumelu and others as his leaders.
He stressed that the PDP cannot impose candidates on them.
”It was unfortunate that when the Chinda-led minority caucus was addressing the media, it did not mention other political parties.
”Minority leadership in the House is not for one party. They are making mistake of being APC and PDP alone in the house.
”There are other parties like APGA, PRP, AA, SDP and all of us are here in person.
”Listen to them and listen to us and judge by yourselves on who is right,” he said.
Rep Kingsley Chima (AA-Imo) also corroborated Abejide’s statement.
He said members of the Action Alliance in the 9th assembly unequivocally nominated and adopted Elumelu-led minority leadership.
He said that the act of nominating the leadership is solely the business of members.
Rep Ifeanyin Ibezi (APGA-Anambra) said the action is in accordance with the House rules.
He said the entire members of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the 9th assembly signed, approved and elected all the minority leaders as announced by Gbajabiamila.
Earlier, Elumelu said his colleagues from the nine minority parties in the House nominated them as their minority leaders.
He said out of the 147 minority members in the House, 111 members voted for them.
He said they accepted their nomination based on the Order 7, Rule 8 of the House.
The lawmaker also said going by experience and competence, the nominees were also qualified being ranking members.
”I want to use the opportunity to reintroduce the newly appointed, elected, endorsed, nominated minority leaders of this great chamber to Nigerians,” he said.
He, however, affirmed his loyalty to the PDP.