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Reps can convene without PDP members, Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, insists


Femi Gbajabiamila, the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives

Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday said his colleagues in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) could comfortably convene the session of the lower legislative chamber without the presence of members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Gbajabiamila’s position is coming on the heels of a threat by the House Deputy Minority Leader, Mr. Onyema Chukwuka, that his PDP colleagues could now boast of the numerical strength to stop the House from reconvening from its two months long recess and decline passage of President Muhammadu Buhari request for the virement of N228.8 billion from capital components of the 2018 budget for the conduct of the 2019 polls.

The Majority Leader in a statement said there was no way his colleagues in the PDP would have their ways with the realities on ground in the House.

“We believe it is precipitous and not a proper understanding of the law and legislative procedure to say the PDP would stop the reconvening of the House and passage of the virement with their numbers as this requires only a simple majority.

“It is more befuddling that there seems to be more misunderstanding of the required number to form a quorum. A quorum is one-third of members, a number our party has in abundance.

“Finally, as legislators, we believe in the constitutionally enshrined separation of powers and as such, rather than look to the President, the PDP caucus should challenge the matter in court. We are sure it will be a slam-dunk based on the prima facie facts before us,” he stated.

Gbajabiamila, who acknowledged that the attempt by eight out of 30 members of the Benue House of Assembly to impeach Governor Samuel Ortom remains unconstitutional, expressed surprise that the PDP caucus in the House went out of its ways to unduly drag the name of President Muhammadu Buhari through the mud on the issue.

“We find it strange and hyperbolic that the PDP, in tandem with our party, has been screaming restructuring and federalism to high heavens and one wonders why the same party will now blame the activities of an independent state assembly on the President,” he said.

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