By Chunedu Adonu
ENUGU – APEX Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Thursday, condemned the action of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for kicking against the choice of the minority leader as well as his Deputy in the House of Representatives.
It could be re-called that the House was thrown into a rowdy session after the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila announced Kingsley Chinda as Minority Leader. Elumelu from Delta State was named alongside Toby Okechukwu as Deputy Minority Leader, Gideon Gwani as Minority Whip and Adesegun Adekoya as Deputy MinorityWhip.
However, this did not go down well with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which explained that it had duly written to the Speaker after consultation with other minority members in the parliament notifying him of members that have been selected for leadership in line with dictates of the rules and parliamentary practice.
The Party had nominated Hon. Kingsley Chinda – Minority Leader, Hon. Chukwuka Onyema- Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Yakubu Barde – Minority Whip, and Hon. Muraina Ajibola – Deputy Minority Whip”.
The party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a reaction to the development, said “The PDP, in the strongest terms, cautions against this abuse of rules, parliamentary practices and procedures as well as the convention and we urge the Speaker to respect the rules and read the list submitted to him by the leadership of the PDP.”
But the youth wing of Ohanaeze has now cautioned the party to stop creating tension and fanning unnecessary ember of discord in the National Assembly.
The National Secretary of the Igbo group, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, who addressed journalists in Enugu, said it was surprising that the PDP was now talking about party hierarchy and discipline.
He said the Ohanaeze “is amazed that the same PDP, which didn’t value party discipline, when the leadership of the National Assembly was elected, was now crying wolf where there is none.
“We recall vividly that the APC, which had the majority in the Senate had settled for candidates for the National Assembly leadership positions, but the PDP, which is a minority party, came up with other names, and asked its members to vote in that direction.
“If it had worked, we are sure that the PDP would have been celebrating APC lawmakers for rebelling against their party.”
Okwu, who is also the leader of the Greater Awgu Peoples Movement, said the group would not fold their arms and watch the party push out one of their sons, Rt. Hon. Toby Okechukwu away from a well deserved position.
He stressed that “if the PDP is still living true to its name, it follows then that it should allow democracy to be in action. The National Assembly is not an extension of the PDP secretariat. As such, the lawmakers have taken a stand and that should be final.
“The Party should also not forget that it is not the only minority party in the House of Representatives. So, it cannot start dictating for everybody.
“We, therefore, declare that any attempt to push this matter forward shall be vehemently resisted. We thank the lawmakers for giving our son the opportunity to serve in that capacity and we assure him that the entire Igbo youths are solidly behind him”.