Speaking on behalf of the group, Chinda, who is the nominee for the post of minority leader, however apologized for the disturbances in chamber saying “it is not in our character of very respected people and not in our wish for it to go that way. But It’s not also proper as parliamentarians to see our right been trampled upon. So we sincerely apologize to Nigerians.”
OrderPaperToday – The nominees for the position of minority leadership of the House of Representatives have kicked against the decision of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila to announce alternative names different from what was submitted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Addressing the press on Wednesday after a rowdy session marred proceedings in the chamber, the group led by Mr. Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) said that its members stand on the letter forwarded to the Speaker and President of the Senate resoectively on the 21st of June, 2019.
On the facts of the matter, he said accordingly: “Firstly, the issues are that of the minority leadership. It is standard parliamentary practice that in parliament, minority leadership comes from amongst minority parties and the correspondence is always sent by the letter from minority party to a major minority party. In our case, that was followed.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in discussion with other minority parties agreed on our leadership in parliament and forwarded a letter to Mr. Speaker dated 21st day of June 2019. A copy of the letter was received in the office of the Speaker. Another letter was also sent to the Senate President same date and was received on the same day 26 June, 2019.
“You’re aware that yesterday the Senate in compliance with parliamentary practice read out the letter from the APC and from the PDP and of course there were dissecting voices and the Senate President in his wisdom advised senators who are aggrieved to go back to their parties conclude the issues and as soon as he receives any other correspondence any of the parties he will also do same on the floor.
“However, and very unfortunate, the reverse is the case in the House of Representatives we came today we saw our dear speaker attempting to read what he terms as correspondence from a conglomerate of political parties that some honourable members have endorsed some other persons as minority leaders outside that that was forwarded to him by the party and he wants to adopt that. The basis is that from our rules particularly order 7 rule 8 that members of the minority parties shall amongst themselves nominate a minority leader, deputy minority leader, chief whip and deputy whip.
“We’ve all met as members of minority parties twice did our nomination and we all agreed that the parties should go back among the nominees and choose from among them and report back to us. The parties did exactly that and reconvene and received the report of the party and we left satisfied only for us to return to the plenary today and receive this ambush. It’s unfortunate that it is very unparliamentary. We’re not going to take it.
“We must do things properly. We’re members of minority party our leadership will not be determined by the majority party. Our leadership will not be determined by the Majority party. We’re aware of the scheming of the APC that the target is that they are going to disseminate the minority parties in parliament and that they will decide who becomes minority leader in parliament. We will not allow that to happen. We don’t see ourselves as opposition parties no. We’re minority parties ready to provide an alternative government.”