The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a recent statement issued on Thursday condemned the call on the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) if he must retain his position in the senate.
The statement was issued in Abuja by Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, the National Publicity Secretary of the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee faction of the party.
The PDP said that the call for Ekweremadu’s defection which was allegedly made by APC’s Sen. Kabiru Marafa, is unconstitutional, and undemocratic, noting that the Section of the 1999 Constitution which Marafa quoted was untrue.
“I am using this medium to call on Ekweremadu to simply decamp. Section 68(G) of the 1999 Constitution captures this. Senator Marafa said.
However, the PDP noted that no section or clause of the Constitution stated that one must be a member of the ruling party before he or she could maintain a position in the National Assembly.
Adding that it is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not the Senate of the APC
“There is no section or clause of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended) that provides that one must be a member of the ruling party before he could be elected into any position in the Senate or the House of Representatives.
“Equally, it is very distasteful and uncharitable for any senator to stand on the floor of the hallowed chamber and ask his colleague to violate the Constitution by cross-carpeting from his own party to join the ruling party.
“It is Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not Senate of the APC,’’ the PDP said.
“For the umpteenth time, let us reiterate that there is no faction in the PDP.
“A party is only factionalized when its organs are in disarray, but this is different in the PDP where all the organs are intact, behind the National Caretaker Committee under the chairmanship of Sen. Makarfi.
“A mere rebellion by a small interest group within the party cannot be referred to factionalisation of the party,” the statement noted.
“Let us remind Sen. Marafa that Sen. Ike Ekweremadu was elected as Deputy President of Senate by majority votes from both the PDP and APC senators.
“Any attempt to remove Sen. Ekweramadu for being a member of the opposition party and not because of a constitutional breach or incompetence is a call for anarchy.’’
The PDP said that the current formation of the senate where the Senate President and his deputy are from different political parties should not look strange, citing similar situation in the Second Republic where the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Edwin Umezuoke, was from opposition NPP, while the Senate President was from the then ruling party NPN.
“It is worthy of note that both of them worked harmoniously with the cooperation of the Executive in moving the country forward.’’