The Minority Leadership of the House of Representatives says its emergence was in strict observance of Section 60 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Order 7 Rule 8 of the Standing Rule of the House of Representatives.
The Minority Leader, Mr. Ndudi Elumelu made this known in a statement, reacting to an allegation of disloyalty levelled against the House Minority Leadership, he said Section 60 of the 1999 Constitution unambiguously provides that “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Senate or the House of Representatives shall have power to regulate its own procedure, including the procedure for summoning and recess of the House.
Accordingly, Order 7 Rule 8 clearly states that “Members of the Minority Parties in the House shall nominate from among them, the Minority Leader, Minority Whip, Deputy Minority Leader, and Deputy Minority Whip”.
Mr. Elumelu in the statement maintained that one hundred out of one hundred and forty-seven members from nine political parties that made up the minority group endorsed them as leaders which is the norm and practice everywhere, therefore does not amount to any disloyalty to the main opposition party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP.
“This, the overwhelming majority of the Minority Caucus comprising nine political parties (PDP, APGA, ADC, LP, SDP, PRP, AA, APM, ADP) did, and communicated their decision to the Speaker in a letter dated 2nd July 2019 and signed by over 100 members of the 147-Member Caucus.
By parliamentary rules persons so elected become the leaders of the party caucuses in the legislature. While the party can GUIDE their elected Members through the zoning of various Minority leadership offices, it is not in the place of the party, by the provisions of the Constitution, House Standing Rule, and parliamentary traditions, to APPOINT or FOIST Minority or Majority Caucus leadership on its Members.
The conduct of the lawmakers in choosing their leaders therefore falls within the framework of the spirit, ideals, beliefs and underlining principles of the PDP and our founding fathers, who championed the enthronement of the tenets of democratic practice in Nigeria.” Mr. Elumelu emphasized in the Statement.
Members of the Minority leadership in the House, under Mr. Elumelu therefore urged the leadership of PDP to weigh its actions and not allow certain individuals with vested personal interests to destroy its reputation and democratic foundations.
PDP in 2015 had strongly criticized and ridiculed the governing party, APC for impunity and meddlesomeness in the internal affairs of the parliament, when it tried to impose majority leadership in the two chambers.