NASS leadership: Wike labels PDP Reps traders, merchants

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has faulted the election that produced Hon. Ndudi Elumelu and other minority principal officers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives, noting that trading took place rather than party loyalty.
Wike, however, said that he was not surprised by what happened because traders and merchants refused to do the party’s bidding.
The PDP national leadership had, in a letter to Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, nominated Hon. Kingsley Chinda (Rivers) as minority leader with Hon. Chukwuka Onyema (Anambra) as deputy minority leader, Hon. Yakubu Barde (Kaduna) as minority whip and Hon. Muraino Ajibola (Oyo) as deputy minority whip.
But the minority leaders as announced by Gbajabiamila include Hon. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta) as minority leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu) as deputy minority leader, Hon. Gideon Gwani (PDP, Kaduna) as minority whip and Hon. Adesegun Adekoya (PDP, Oyo) as deputy minority whip.
This led to a fracas in the House on Wednesday.
Wike, who spoke yesterday during a courtesy visit by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State at the Government House, Port Harcourt, noted that he was purely a party loyalist who believes in the ideals of the PDP.
He said: “I am not surprised. When you have traders and merchants, what do you expect?
“It is unfortunate for those who do not understand what politics is all about. I am a core party man. I believe in the party.”
On his part, Makinde said what happened at the House of Representatives, where the position of the PDP was subverted, calls for concern.
“We all saw what happened at the National Assembly on Wednesday; they are things that call for concern. If the party takes a position on certain things, we want to ensure that, that is carried through,” he said.
The governor added that he was in Rivers State to also discuss issues of true federalism and the role of states in the development process.
However, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has congratulated Hon. Elumelu and other principal officers of the PDP in the House of Representatives.
Umahi, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, noted that the country’s unity and progress are bigger than any personal, political or religious interest.
He also urged the PDP principal officers to work for the country, rather than the country working for them service of the schedule of documents a condition-precedent for the commencement of trial.
He added that the respondents could also not validly claim to have been ambushed by the alleged late filing of the schedule since the documents listed in it had been referenced in the petition filed and served on the respondents months ago.
The petitioners later tendered election results from polling units, wards and local governments in Niger State to formally kick-start hearing of the substantive petition against Buhari’s election.
However, INEC objected to tendering of the results along with President Buhari and the APC.
The tribunal chairman, Justice Garba, who admitted the results as exhibits, told counsel to INEC, Buhari and APC to defer their objection to the point of address to the tribunal as earlier agreed by parties during the pre-hearing session.
The petitioners had brought before the tribunal, boxes of electoral materials in which they intend to lead evidence. The states include Niger, Yobe, Kebbi, Jigawa.
A total number of certified true copies of documents from Niger State exhibited at the tribunal was 3,465, but the receipt was rejected by all the respondents while the 1,732 certified true copy of documents from Yobe State was not objected to by the respondents in the matter.
The tribunal, after taking documents from the two states, adjourned further proceedings till today.