Lawmakers elect minority leaders

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

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The Minority Parties in the Nigerian House of Representatives have selected members among themselves who would pilot the affairs of the minorities of the 9th House.

Those emerged as leaders are Mr. Ndudi Elumelu from Delta State, the Minority Leader, Mr. Gidion Gwani from Kaduna State, Minority Whip, Mr. Toby Okechukwu, from Enugu State, Deputy Minority Leader while Mr. Adesegun Adekoya from Ogun State as Deputy Minority Whip.

The letter signed by 99 out of the 139 minority members, was in contrast to the choice of the main minority party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party PDP, in a letter addressed to the Speaker, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, appointing Mr. Mr. Kingsley Chinda from Rivers State as the Minority Leader of the House.

Other Appointed Minority Leaders
Other appointed minority leaders in the letter signed by the PDP National Chairman Uche Secondus are Mr. Chukwuka Onyema from Anambra State as Deputy Minority Leader, Mr. Yakubu Bade from Kaduna State, Minority Whip and Mr. Muraina Ajibola from Oyo as Deputy Minority Whip.

“In accordance with extent laws, House Laws, Conventions and General Legislative Practice Worldwide, the PDP after consultations with the house caucus, the party leadership from geo political zones, the party’s National Working Committee sends the names of approved House Minority Leadership.” the letter read.

Though those announced by the Speaker were PDP Members, Mr. Kingsley Chinda’s group described the announcement as an ambush and an attempt by the House leadership to impose individuals on them as leaders.

He said it was to also divide the minority, considering the fact that the PDP’s letter was sent and received eight days ago.

Mr. Chinda explained that “We came today only to hear our dear Speaker attempting to read what he termed as correspondent from a Conglo of political parties that some Honorable members have endorsed some other persons as Minority Leaders outside that that was forwarded to him by the party (PDP) and that he want to adopt that.”

The group led by Ndudi Elumelu claimed that opposition members from all the nine opposition parties nominated them to lead the minority in the 9th Assembly.

They however maintained that their nomination and emergence as minority heads does not in any way affect their loyalty to the PDP and that it was in line with the extant rules and House Oder.

“We are here to introduced the newly, endorsed, harmonized minority leaders of this great Chamber.” Mr. Elumelu stated.

Interest of All Political Parties
A member of the adhoc committee on Media, Mr. Yusuf Adamu from Plateau State said the list announced reflect the interest of all political parties in the House.

“All the nine minority parties in the House must be part of the nomination process not a one party affair.

The House Order 7 Rule 8 categorically stated that minority leadership will emerged among members of the minority parties,” Mr Adamu said.

The remaining four principal officers; House Leader, Deputy House Leader, Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip of the 9th House of Representatives are expected before the end of the legislative week, on Thursday.

 

Confidence Okwuchi