Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja
THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to concentrate on his legislative duties and stop meddling in the internal affairs of the PDP.
The PDP said its admonition to Gbajabiamila was predicated on the speaker’s reported needless interference with the choice of the leadership of the PDP caucus in the House of Representatives.
In a statement on Saturday by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said the speaker’s interference had led to intimidation and threats of sanctions against the “leader” of the PDP caucus in the House, Kingsley Chinda.
The statement said, “The PDP, without equivocation, reminds Hon. Gbajabiamila that as a party, we reserve the right to form a parliamentary caucus as well as choose the leaders of our caucus, as it obtains in parliaments, all over the world and the House of Representatives under Gbajabiamila, as speaker, cannot be an exception.
The leadership of the House is aware that whereas members from minority parties decided on the minority leadership, a party and its members have the right to form a caucus and select leaders of such caucus accordingly, without interference by the leadership of the House or members of other political parties in the legislature.
“The PDP reminds the leadership of the House that our party had directed that the affairs of the PDP caucus be organised and managed by Kingsley Chinda, Yakubu Barde, Chukwuma Onyema and Muraina Ajibola.
This position has not changed”. The party insisted that Chinda remained the leader of the PDP caucus in the House, as opposed to Ndudi Elumelu who is recognised by the House as the authentic leader of the PDP caucus in the House.
Continuing, the PDP said, “Our party therefore calls on the speaker to respect our choice of leadership for the PDP caucus in the House of Representatives. Our choice has not in any way contravened any rules or posed any threat to the statutory running of the House of Representatives.
“Mr. Speaker should, therefore, steer clear and bury the thoughts of punishing the loyal members of our party just because they are obedient to the decisions of the PDP. He should rather focus on giving the House of Representatives the much-needed leadership direction to proffer solutions to the myriads of economic and security challenges confronting our nation today instead of hounding our loyal members and meddling into the internal affairs of our party.”