The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said its suspension of Ndudi Elumelu and some of its lawmakers in the House of Representatives still subsists.
The party made this known in a statement on Friday evening by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.
“The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wishes to clarify its position on the PDP Caucus at the House of Representatives as follows:”
“That the suspension placed on some PDP members who connived with others to supplant the party decision with regards to party positions in the House is subsisting and has not been lifted.
“That the suspended members of the party cannot, therefore, conduct any business of the party at whatever level until disciplinary measures have been concluded.
“That the National Working Committee (NWC) in its wisdom, knowing that nature abhors a vacuum and consistent with its position on the matter which has not changed, directed that the affairs of the PDP Caucus of the House of Representatives be organised and managed by Hon. Kingsley Chinda, Hon. Yakubu Barde, Hon. Chukwuka Onyema and Hon. Muraina Ajibola.”
Mr Ologbondiyan stated the Chinda group has the mandate and authority of the PDP to lead its Caucus in the House of Representatives.
He said the PDP will not reward disloyalty and will not allow anyone other than the party to impose their choices with the sole aim of annihilating or stifling the voice of the opposition.
“All PDP NASS members and organs are to note this and accord the irreversible party choices the necessary support to execute the party’s mandate in distinction as they have been doing so far.”
The party’s position is coming on the heels of calls by a PDP lawmaker from Delta, Ben Igbakpa, for the investigation of Mr Chinda whom he said was parading himself as the Minority Leader.
But Mr Chinda in a swift reaction said he is the PDP Caucus leader in the House with the authority and consent of the party.
The house, however, referred the matter to the committee on ethics and privileges.
The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, a few months back announced Ndudi Elumelu as the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
The announcement caused confusion in the parliament as the PDP, which is the largest minority party in the House, had nominated Mr Chinda for the position.
Other nominees of the PDP for other minority positions were also rejected by Mr Gbajabiamila.
The PDP had nominated Chukwuka Onyema as Deputy Minority Leader, Yakubu Barde as Minority Whip and Muraina Ajibola as Deputy Minority Whip.
Mr Gbajabiamila, however, named Toby Okechukwu as Minority Leader, Gideon Gwani as Minority Whip and Adesegun Adekoya as Deputy Minority Whip.
The Speaker said he was acting on a letter from the minority parties in the House, which include the PDP. Both Messrs Elumelu and Chinda are PDP members.
The party suspended the Elumelu-led leadership for its disobedience.
Others suspended were Wole Oke, Lynda Ikpeazu, Anayo Edwin, Gideon Gwadi, Toby Okechukwu and Adekoya Abdul-Majid.
The PDP Board of Trustees had mandated a committee to look into the minority leadership crisis that has rocked the PDP caucus. But the committee was later accused of corruption by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; an allegation denied by the board.