- NWC to lift suspension on Elumelu, others
Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has resolved the crisis among its members in the House of Representatives over the leadership of the minority caucus, THISDAY has learnt.
It was gathered thursday that the issue featured at the Wednesday’s meeting between the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and other leaders of the party in Abuja, where the gathering resolved to pardon members who allegedly worked against its choice of Hon. Kingsley Chinda as the minority leader.
A source told THISDAY that with the new development, the main opposition party will soon lift the suspension slammed on the House Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, and his group.
Crisis hit the main opposition party when Elumelu, Hon. Wole Oke, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu, Hon. Anayo Edwin, Hon. Gideon Gwadi, Hon. Toby Okechukwu and Hon. Adekoya Abdul-Majid, on July 9, 2019, emerged minority leaders of the House, against the choices of the party.
Elumelu and his group were subsequently suspended for alleged indiscipline, insubordination and disobedience to party’s directives.
The source said though the meeting was called to discuss the need for the PDP lawmakers to present a united front on electoral reforms and amendment of the Electoral Act, it provided an opportunity for the resolutions of the year-long crisis over the House minority caucus leadership.
A chieftain of the party who attended Wednesday’s meeting told THISDAY that one of the issues discussed at the meeting was the resolution of the controversy over the emergence of Elumelu as the House minority leader.
The source added that the NWC had earlier set up a panel chaired by Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, to use his experience as a former House speaker to make PDP lawmakers close ranks and to recommend to the NWC how to resolve the dispute.
The source stated that Chinda, leader of the PDP House Caucus, however, appealed to the meeting to lift the suspension on Elumelu and others.
Chinda was said to have told the meeting that PDP cannot present a united front during the debate and public hearing on the amendment to the Electoral Act, if the crisis is not resolved.
THISDAY gathered that the meeting, therefore, resolved to get the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to implement the resolution.
“The PDP caucus in the House of Representatives is a mother of necessity and is established and recognised with Hon. Kingsley Chinda as leader.
“PDP lawmakers in the House of Representatives to work together as one strong opposition.
“They’re to work together and fight and promote electoral reforms so that the will of the people is not frustrated by security agencies.
“The chairman of governors’ forum to be informed on decisions taken here today and given two weeks to address same in line with resolutions taken here today,” the source said.
It was learnt that the NWC would meet in the next one week to decide whether or not to lift the suspension on the Elumelu group.
However, despite the resolution of the crisis, the source stated that the PDP would retain the extant arrangement of Chinda remaining PDP caucus leader in the House.
The source added that another issue discussed at the NWC meeting with House of Representatives members was how to ensure that the PDP caucus in the National Assembly press for electoral reform, especially ensuring that the amended Electoral Act that was not signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, was recalled and updated.
“The party charged members to work toward electoral reform, especially the review of the Electoral Act that was not endorsed by Mr. President should be brought forward and ensure it includes the current exigencies, including COVID-19,” the source said.