Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday threatened legal action to reclaim the governorship seat in Zamfara State if the governor, Bello Matawalle, defects to All Progressives Congress (APC) today.
The party said no law allows Matawalle 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.
All is set for Matawalle to join the ruling APC today as a reception has been scheduled for his public declaration at the Zamfara State government House. Top party chieftains led by the chairman of the APC national caretaker, Mai Mala-Buni, are expected to attend the event.
But rising from a meeting yesterday ahead of Matawalle’s planned defection, the PDP noted that the governor will not cross over to APC with its mandate.
Addressing a press conference yesterday at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, the national publicity secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said 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.
Ologbondiyan while noting that the party is watching developments in the state, however said the National Working Committee (NWC) has approved the dissolution of the Zamfara State Executive of the party.
He said, “The PDP categorically cautions 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.
“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.
“The PDP also cautions members of the National Assembly 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.
“There is no division in the PDP to warrant to defection of any of our lawmakers.
“The PDP hopes that Bello Matawalle as well as members of the National and State Assembly from Zamfara state will take caution.”
He asked all party leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of the party in the state to be guided accordingly.