The newly nominated Minority Leader of the 9th House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, has expressed shock over the news of his suspension for two months by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan Friday said the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) resolved to suspend Elumelu, Hon. Wole Oke, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu, Hon. Anayo Edwin, Hon. Gideon Gwadi, Hon. Toby Okechukwu and Hon. Adekoya Abdul-Majid over the roles they played in their emergence as minority leaders whereas they were not endorsed by the party.
The PDP considered the attitudes of its earring members as smacking of indiscipline, insubordination and disobedience of party directives contrary to Section 58 (1)(b)(c)(f)(h) of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017).
Reacting to the news of his suspension, Elumelu who had stated through his Special Adviser, Sam Audu, that he was unable to honour his party’s invitation to answer to allegations of anti-party because he was unavailable, said he had told his party leadership that the PDP alone cannot determine minority leadership positions.
According to Elumelu, “It is unfortunate if the party suspends its most loyal Member for towing the path of honour and constitutionalism.
“I owe my party and its leaders a duty of care to advise appropriately as one the ranking members of the House. I have discharged that duty.
“I advised my party leaders appropriately about our House rules provisions about nomination of our leadership that PDP alone cannot do it without other 8 political parties
On the emergence of the Speaker, Elumelu said since the PDP had no candidate, he opted to follow his conscience.
“I follow what my constituents clamoured for. I followed practices and Conventions,” Elumelu said.
He said further that “I am surprised and shocked that the National Working Committee of our great party, the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) can sit and take a decision without giving room for fair hearing. I lost an aunty and left Abuja immediately after plenary in the House of Representatives on Thursday and travelled to Delta state.
“Though I left immediately after sitting not midnight. Secondly, my gateman received the letter at 7.45pm and he called me at 8pm
I was informed by my gateman who received the letter from the party at 7.45pm and called me at 8pm. I tried to reach out to the other members named in the letter to see if they could be at the meeting and found out they were also out of town.
“Out of respect for the party, I instucted my Special Assistant to write to the party and request a new date. I would have expected that if the date, we suggested was not convenient for the party, they would have proposed another day when we could have appeared before them.
“I have great respect for the party and I am ready to serve,” Elumelu said.