By Festus Ahon
Ughelli – One time Federal Commissioner for Information, ChiefÂ Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, has called on the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare vacant, seats of the 17 members of Bauchi State House of Assembly that decamped to the Peopleâ€™s Democracy Party (PDP) from the ANPP, arguing that their defection violated section 109 (1G) of the 1999 Constitution.
He also condemned the impeachment of the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Garba, and the swearing-in of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Bayayo Gamawa within 24 hours, as Deputy Governor of the state.
Clark, who made the call while briefing newsmen at his home town Kiagbodo, Burutu Local Government Area, Delta State, yesterday, warned INEC against using double standard and recalled that the seats of members of Plateau State House of Assembly that decamped in 2003 from the PDP were declared vacant and filled by INEC through an election.
He said: â€œThe recent politically motivated impeachment of the deputy governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Mohammed Garba, and the swearing-in of a new deputy governor 24 hours later is no doubt a sad development in our political evolution as a nation, especially now that all efforts are being made by the National Assembly to institute a credible electoral system that will sustain Nigeriaâ€™s democratic rule beyond the 2011 elections.
â€œNigerians, irrespective of political or religious affiliations, must condemn openly this injustice because an injustice to one must be seen as a collective rape against the democratic institution that Nigerians collectively fought hard to enthrone in 1999.
â€œThat is why Nigerians must condemn the masquerading of illegality by the Bauchi State House of Assembly to punish the deputy governor,â€ he said.