House of Reps in Rowdy Session as Leo Ogor Moves to Upstage APC Minority Leaders
The House of Representatives resumed into a rowdy session on Tuesday over the distribution of minority position in the leadership of the house.
The House had convened to continue its business from where it stopped last week, but few minutes into the plenary, the House became rowdy following a motion by the Deputy House Leader, Leo Ogor who questioned the integrity of its current minority leadership.
Ogor (PDP, Delta) raised the issue in an attempt to unseat his opposite of the minority, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (APC, Lagos) and three others, saying the current minority leaders under Gbajabiamila (APC, Lagos) can no longer be occupying their position as such privilege is anti-thetical to the spirit of the House rules and that of the constitution.
Ogor premised his argument on the fact that the platform (ACN, ANPP and CPC) upon which they were elevated to their present positions has been dissolved since their respective parties decided to go into a merger that is now known as the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The others were the Deputy Minority Leader, Kawu Sumaila, Minority Whip, Hon. Samson Osagie and Deputy Minority Whip, Hon. Garba Datti Mohammed.
Citing Point of Order, under Privileges Order 19 (1) (2), Item 31, the deputy leader insisted that Gbajabiamila and others should vacate their seats and allow for proper nomination and selection of substantive minority leaders.
“It behoves the minority parties, in line with item 31 of the House rules, to nominate from among them, new minority leader, minority whip, deputy minority leader and deputy minority whip.”
However, Gbajabiamila tackled Ogor by observing that none of his (Ogor’s) personal privileges had been assailed or violated by the present composition of the minority leadership.
“First of all, you have to show that your privilege, as Leo Ogor, has been breached. That is what the law says. If this privilege would have been raised by a member of minority parties, it would have been a different thing.
“The rules say the minority shall nominate and select their leaders, and that is exactly what we did. It did not say the minority shall nominate from each minority party,” he said.
Kawu, also lent his voice to the debate, saying Ogor does not have rights to interfere in the matter of who is on the team minority leadership, stressing that the rules do not recognise him as House leader but a PDP leader in the House.
But Uche Lilian Ekwunife (APGA, Anambra) who towed the line of argument of Ogor, stated: “My party, APGA, is a strong party in the House. But all the opposition parties in this House have not met to decide their leadership.
There is no way one political party will nominate all the leadership positions.”
Labour Party’s member, Hon. Debo Jerome Ologunagba (Ondo), also lined up behind Ogor, pointing out that his intervention was in order irrespective of the party affiliation of the member who brought the matter up.
Hon. Abiola Ajaja (Accord, Oyo) complained that the minority leadership had not been “recognising us as members of minority. The rules says all parties must share in the leadership positions of the minority.”
Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, who presided over the session, directed the Rules and Business committee alongside Justice committee to look into the matter and come up with recommendations to the House within two weeks.
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