By Dirisu Yakubu – Abuja
Ahead of the scheduled defection of Zamfara state governor, Bello Matawalle, from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, the main opposition party (PDP) has warned the governor against the move, threatening to go the whole distance to defend its mandate.
The PDP specifically cautioned Bello Matawalle to know that his plans amounts to a decision to vacate office “as no law allows him to cross over to any other party with the governorship mandate statutorily given to the PDP through the ballot box, as already established by the provision of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the standing judgment of the Supreme Court.”
Addressing newsmen at the party’s secretariat yesterday, PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said a “combined reading of Section 221 of the 1999 Constitution as the pronouncements of the Supreme Court in Faleke v. INEC (2016) is clear in holding that it is the political party that stands for election, that votes scored in election belong to the political party and that the candidate nominated to contest at an election by his party, acts only as the agent of his party.”
This is even as the PDP cautioned members of the National Assembly from the state as well as members of the Zamfara State House of Assembly, “not to allow themselves to be pushed into losing their seats as the provisions of the constitution is very clear in barring lawmakers from cross carpeting, except in a situation of a division in the political party upon which platform they were elected.”
Ologbondiyan declared emphatically that “there is no division in the PDP to warrant to the defection of any of our lawmakers.”
Meanwhile, the National Working Committee, NWC, has approved the dissolution of the Zamfara State Executive of the party in line with the provision of Section 29 (2)(b) of the PDP Constitution 2017 (as amended).
“All party leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party in Zamfara state should, by this, be guided accordingly,” he added.