We’ll Change House Leadership, APC Reps Insist

Members of the House of Representatives, particularly those of the All Progressives Congress caucus are bent on changing the leadership of the House as lawmakers resume sitting on Tuesday next week.

The APC gained a slim numerical advantage over the Peoples Democratic Party before the lawmakers proceeded on the Christmas/New Year break on December 19.

Thirty-seven former PDP members had defected to the APC on the floor of the House, citing “division” in the PDP as the reason for their action.

The development raised the numerical strength of the APC to 172, while the PDP dropped to 171.

Findings showed that the APC also planned to poach additional 40 PDP members before the end of this month to give it a “comfortable majority” of about 212 members.

Talks of a change of leadership in favour of the APC had forced the PDP to file a suit before an Abuja court, seeking to stop the House from going ahead to alter its leadership structure.

Among others, the PDP is faulting the grounds for the defection as it claims that there is no factional crisis in the party.

It is also arguing that the defectors had earlier filed a restraining suit still pending in court.

But, The PUNCH gathered on Wednesday that as members prepared to resume full legislative activities on Tuesday next week, they had resolved to ignore the PDP’s suit.

Investigations showed that most members had argued that so long as there was no court order stopping them from effecting a change in the House leadership, they would put new leaders in place.

One member in the picture of ongoing deliberations, said, “As it stands now, the PDP is losing the principal seats to the APC.

“The only seats that some members are still saying they may allow to remain for now are those of the Speaker (Aminu Tambuwal) and the Deputy Speaker (Emeka Ihedioha).

“Let me even tell you that there is no guarantee for the deputy speaker yet.

“In all other positions from Majority Leader down, changes will take place.”

When contacted for comments, the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, told The PUNCH that the PDP had a right to go to court much as the House was protected under its rules to conduct its activities.

He added,  “What is happening is democracy at play. The National Assembly is the bastion of democracy.

“Yes, there is a case in court; when we resume, we will cross the bridge. Whatever is to happen, the picture will get clearer as we resume.”

Asked to comment on the matter, the Minority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, said that the PDP  decision to go to court was an act of desperation.”

He expressed surprise that a party, which did not participate in the selection process of House leadership would go to court to stop the House from performing its functions.

Gbajabiamila said, “The PDP’s case in court is an act of desperation. No arm of government can tell another one not to do its work.

“If a court judgment eventually says we had no right to do whatever we would have done, then we will revert.

“Outside that, we will perform our duties as a House because our rules are very clear on how to handle such issues.”

Related Articles

Check Also
Back to top button