By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
Mindful of aspirants who might want to use and dump its platform ahead of 2019 general elections, the new party Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA) has set in motion a legal framework which will ensure that officer holders who hope to defect from the party must first resign from the position after giving the party a three months’ notice of an intention to withdraw membership of this party.
The party has also declared that it will be illegal for defectors to transfer the position they won on the platform of their party to another party. They stressed that the position shall be open to be re-contested and the party shall be at liberty to present another candidate to fill such a vacancy.
This is contained in the constitution of the prospective party seen by Leadership.
This comes as the national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sen Ali Modu Sheriff has blamed the Sen Ahmed Makarfi-led leadership for encouraging party members to engage in anti-party activities over the formation of APDA.
He however noted that no case of anti-party activity has been established against any loyal PDP member.
Spokesman of the sheriff-led PDP, Hon Bernard Mikko, told Leadership that they hope that the renegades would retrace their steps after the Supreme Court judgement; whichever way it goes.
He said “No case has been established against any loyal member of the party. The dissident group that are involved in anti party activities are basically the renegades with Sen. Makarfi. I hope they’ll retrace their steps after the Supreme Court judgement; whichever way it goes.”
Political party defections by elected office holders have continued to rise since 1999. While many sitting governors and serving federal and state lawmakers have made such defections, they have barely lost their seats or the mandate upon which they were elected.
However, section 21 of APDA’s constitution which deals with factions and defections stated thus “All members of the party seeking to defect must first resign from the position held by giving the party 3 months’ notice of his or her intention to withdraw his or her membership of this party.
“(2) It shall be illegal even when such notice is given for such a person to transfer the position he/she won on the platform of this party to another party.
“(3) Such a position shall be open to be re-contested and the party shall be at liberty to present another candidate to fill such a vacancy.
“(4) Any member that aligns with another party with the intent of undermining the aims and objectives of this party or to challenge its existence shall be eligible for expulsion.
“(5) Any individual or group of individuals that declare a faction within this party, shall be deemed to have lost their membership and shall not have rights to participate in the activities of the party.
“(6) A leadership dispute is not a faction under Sec 68(1)g of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended until at least half of the executive committees of all 36 states of the federation and the FCT align with such a group.
“(7) Failure by any groups of persons to reach the 50% support by state executives, will mean that such a dispute shall be considered a leadership tussle and it shall be a matter for litigation or arbitration and not factionalization of the party. “