PDP Warns Defecting Lawmakers, ‘Your Seat Will Be Declared Vacant’
Nigeria’s main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has warned two lawmakers who defected from the party on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 in a dramatic fashion on the floor of the House of Representatives.
The defecting lawmakers, Hon. Tony Nwoye (Anambra) and Hon. Udende Emmanuel (Benue) – moved to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in a rowdy session at the House of Reps on Wednesday, citing existence of “factions” in the PDP.
The PDP has threatened to ensure that Nwoye and Emmanuel lose their seats in the House.
In a statement signed by the secretary of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party, Mr. Ojo Madueke, PDP said there was only one approved national convention which took place in Port Harcourt on Saturday, May 21, 2016, which it said was in accordance with the PDP constitution.
The statement added that the party “approved some far reaching resolutions that had the unanimous support of those who attended the Port Harcourt convention with subsequent endorsements of another PDP political meeting that took place in Abuja on the same day”.
The statement added that the conveners of the Abuja meeting had since integrated their positions with the structures and resolutions of the Port Harcourt convention and advised the defecting lawmakers to review their decision in line with the law of the party.
“Subsequent meetings of first, Board of Trustees members, and secondly, meetings with the PDP Governor’s Forum, leadership of National Assembly and former Ministers in PDP Government Forum, and a PDP Former Governor’s Forum, held and decided to work together,” the party said.
It also added that aggrieved members are being reconciled across the length and breadth of the country.
“The rank and file of the party have resolved to work together and PDP has never been stronger than it is now since its entry into the honourable role of a robust and principled opposition.
“Any suggestion of a faction, is at best ill-informed and ignorant, and at worst, is part of a grand plan to decimate the only political platform today that is ready, experienced and able to honour the nation’s invitation to have a credible opposition party that will hold government of the day accountable and thereby strengthen and nourish our young democracy.
“Let it therefore be understood by those of our members in the National Assembly who may be tempted to jump ship, or have already jumped, that on the basis of clear decisions of cases decided in the Supreme Court, they stand the risk of losing their seats in parliament if they go ahead with their latest indulgence,” PDP said.
The party added that it would insist on a declaration of vacancy on the defecting lawmakers and subsequent elections in the affected constituencies in the event of such “misguided defections”.
“The pattern of PDP electoral victories all over the federation since the 2015 general election shows that where there are elections arising from such vacancies, PDP will return a more credible and more loyal representative of the people,” the statement said.