A team of prominent members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has been raised with a mandate to resolve the ongoing leadership crisis rocking the PDP caucus in the House of Representatives.
The PDP BoT, after a marathon meeting at Abuja national secretariat on Tuesday, set up a five-man panel to meet with the “renegade” group of the party’s House of Representatives members.
A Third Republic President of the Senate, Dr Iyorchia Ayu is the chairman of the panel. Other members are Senator David Mark, Senator Adolphus Wabara, Senator Ibrahim Mantu and a former Deputy Reps Speaker, Austin Opara.
The leadership of the PDP is presently at war with some of its members in the House of Representatives over minority positions in the lower chamber.
The party had nominated Kingsley Chinda as Minority Leader; Chukwuka Onyema (Deputy Minority Leader); Yakubu Barde (Minority Whip); and Muraina Ajibola (Deputy Minority Whip)
But House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila had announced a different set of names for the positions, based on majority consensus by PDP members House.
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Those announced by Gbajabiamila were Ndudi Godwin Elumelu, Minority Leader; Toby Okechukwu Deputy Minority Leader; Gideon Gwani Minority Whip; and Adesegun Adekoya Deputy Minority Whip.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the meeting, the chairman of the BoT, Senator Walid Jubril, said the crisis rocking the Reps leadership crisis would be amicably resolved by the committee.
He called on the lawmakers to respect the supremacy of the party and ensure that they don’t work at cross purposes with the leadership of the PDP.
Senator Jubril said, “I assure you that the crisis in the House of Representatives will soon be solved by the party. We must ensure that we do not break this party. The party will continue and nobody will make any attempt to do away with our party.
“So I call on all our members to be law-abiding and to ensure that our party keeps moving and effectively plays the role of opposition. We have to be very careful and obey the party because the party is supreme”.
The leadership of the PDP had, last week, suspended Elumelu and six of his colleagues for one month, for going against the decision of the party in the choice of candidates for minority positions in the lower chamber.
Besides Elumelu, others affected by the suspension order were ynda Ikpeazu, Wole Oke, Anayo Edwin, Gideon Gwadi, Toby Okechukwu and Adekoya Abdul-Majid.
A summon extended to the seven lawmakers by the PDP to appear before the party leadership on Friday was shunned by all of them, a development that many said, jolted the leadership of the party.
A PDP Rep member loyal to the Elumelu group described the move by the BoT team as a welcome development, saying that the group would honour intervention by the team.
In a telephone chat with our correspondent on Tuesday, the member, who pleaded not to be named because he was not assigned to speak for the group, however, said the minority leadership headed by Elumelu had come to stay.
He stated further that, rather, the party leadership should come to terms with the reality of the Elumelu led group. He dismissed insinuations in some quarters that members of the group might defect from PDP to another party.