PDP REP PROTESTS INTIMIDATION BY PDP CAUCUS OVER DEFECTION
Cracks appeared in the caucus of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives Tuesday as a negative emerging trend in support or otherwise of motions or bills along political party or ethnic lines in the House of Representatives was vehemently condemned by a member of the caucus.
Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma (PDP, Edo) protested being intimidated by his colleagues in the PDP caucus for opting not to join a walk out over the defection of a PDP member to All Progressives Congress (APC).
Agbonayinma at a press briefing said his colleagues promised to defeat (negative) his motion on Digital Switch Over (DSO) for refusing to join the caucus’ walkout over Nnenna Igbokwe (Imo), who decamped from PDP to APC.
The lawmaker said the behaviour of his PDP colleagues was unfair and contrary to the feeling of togetherness with which members have always voted on motion and bills, irrespective of party affiliations.
Saying that the national interest has always been an overriding factor on the floor of the Green chamber, Agbonayinma regretted that it was jettisoned by his own caucus when his bill on the DSO was introduced.
He expressed disappointment that his reason for not joining the walkout was not acceptable to his colleagues.
He said: “I did not join the walk out and it was because I have a motion of urgent public importance to move.
“For Speaker Yakubu Dogara to allow the motion to be moved showed the national importance of the motion because it is against the rule to move such motions and debate it same day.
“I’m disappointed because I was promised by my caucus that my motion will be defeated if I don’t join the walkout and it was defeated.
“For the love of Nigeria, we don’t have to be partisan when issues of national importance are on ground and it is such a surprise and disappointment because they used to stand by me but partisan politics played out today.
“With what happned today, are we setting a precedence on passage of motions based on partisanship?
“The fact of Tuesday action by the PDP caucus is that it is a conspiracy not against me but against the people of Nigeria.
“We should not forget that it is our duty to help President Buhari to succeed in his fight against corruption and moving this country forward because if he succeeds, Nigeria succeeds.
“What can be more important than for us standing by the resolution of the House that the Federal government should comply with the recommendations of the White paper on it.
“That the Information Minister should not commission the Kwara Switchover because one of the signal distributors supplied obsolete equipment.
“The company was paid N1.7b but what do we have on ground? Outdated equipment that cannot offer what is required for the switchover.
“The same company was also not registered which means that the country is losing millions over its non-registration”.
The aggrieved lawmaker opined that rather push members out of the party, the PDP caucus should encourage people to stay back.
“Today I’m a PDP member but should not push me out, they should encourage people to stay, they should not ridicule me.
“That someone decamped doesn’t mean we should be enemies but my feelings about what happened on the floor is that individuals are the problems of this country and not the parties and we need to move above that for the love of this country,” he added.