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[TNG Exclusive] Minority Leadership Crisis: How Reps halted PDP panel

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..say members have been compromised
..point accusing finger at panel chairman
The minority leadership crisis rocking the House of Representatives has taken a new twist as Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Reps move to halt the party’s constituted investigative panel headed by former Senate President, Senator Iyorchia Ayu.
In a petition signed by Hon Solomon Maren and Hon Amos Magaji and made available to TNG, entitled: ‘Iyorchia Ayu Committee-Need for Chairman and Secretary to Rescue Themselves’ dated 17th of July, the lawmakers under the aegis of Concerned PDP Reps demanded that the Ayu investigative panel should stop functioning as there are clear indications that it has been compromised.
The lawmakers said:” “We write as concerned members of the PDP in the 9th Assembly of House of Representatives and wish to state that the party is at the precipice and if not properly handled has the very likelihood of tipping over to the detriment of the Nigerian populace.
” The only healing balm that will sustain the party is the undiluted truth, selflessness, equity, fairness and justice.
“We believe that justice should not only be done but always be seen to have been done.
‘We’ve watched with keen interest and equanimity the unfortunate politics of ascension of minority leadership in the House of Representatives and the response of the party both the National Working Committee, NWC and the BoT.
“”One of the steps taken is the inauguration of the committee consisting of former presiding officers to investigate the circumstances surrounding the emergence of the minority leadership and counsel the party on the way forward.
“Whilst we very earnestly respect members of the committee as leaders of proven integrity, however they’re not infallible and like we  said earlier, justice should not only  be seen but must have been seen to have been done.
“We have incontrovertible facts that reasonably point to the likelihood of bias on the part of the Chairman and Secretary of the committee (Senator Iyorchia Ayu and Rt Hon Austin Okpara) as they appeared to have already pitched tents before the appointments.
*The facts are as follows:
1. Senator Ayu before the impasse had already instructed some Benue Representatives to support a particular candidate who had approached him  and one of the two  frontline candidate for the minority leadership.
We are certain that he has compromised his position and cannot be a judge in his own case. He has a preferred candidate for the minority leadership even before the appointment, we are willing to give specific details if required.
Austin Okpara is from Rivers and one of the candidates is from Rivers state, he cannot be biased towards his god-son and there is no guarantee that he won’t favour him.
The members further alleged that one of the arrowheads of the factional group had gone to town to boast that he had reached some committee members and that there was no cause for alarm.
They pleaded with the party’s top hierarchy to politely remove all members of the committee with tainted records immediately if the party must forge ahead.
TNG further findings revealed that one of the prominent members of the committee allegedly collected N15m and had insisted to continue the work until he was prevailed on by other members.
Our source privy to this development said”it’s disheartening to see rich men go hungry and collect a morsel of porridge and destroy an entire party.
“The battle has just begun we shall get to the bottom of this and right the present wrongs imposed on us.

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