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Supreme Court handed Zamfara mandate to party, not candidates, PDP warns Matawalle

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…Mr Matawalle will formally defect to APC on Tuesday after securing the governorship seat via a Supreme Court judgement in favour of PDP in 2019.

National Chairman of the People’s democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus and Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle
National Chairman of the People’s democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus and Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the law does not allow Zamfara governor Bello Matawalle to cross over to any party with the governorship mandate given to the party, even as the governor prepares to formally declare his defection on Tuesday.

The opposition party cautioned the Mr Matawalle against his decision to defect from the party to the ruling party, All Progressive Congress (APC).

On Sunday, Bashir Ahmad, a social media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, in a Facebook post, welcomed Mr Matawalle to the APC.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, noted that the Zamfara state governor can lose his seat as a governor because the matter is already established by the Supreme Court.

He stated that other elected officials of the party that plan to defect to APC will lose their position too.

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is watching developments in Zamfara state as they concern reports of plans by the state governor, Bello Matawalle, to cross over to the All Progressives Congress (APC),” Mr Ologbondiyan said.

“The PDP categorically cautions Bello Matawalle to know that his plans amount 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.

“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.”
Mr Ologbondiyan added that there are no political crises in the party to warrant their reasons for leaving the party.

He explained that the party (NWC) in Zamfara will handle the matter in accordance to the party guidelines.

“There is no division in the PDP to warrant to defection of any of our lawmakers,” he said.

“The PDP hopes that Bello Matawalle as well as members of the National and State Assembly from Zamfara state will take caution.

“The decision is 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.”

In May 2019, Supreme court declared that the APC had no legally elected candidates for the state and National Assembly elections, hence declaring all the PDP candidates in those elections as the winners.

The APC had swept the elections before its victory was summarily cancelled.

Factions of the party in Zamfara were then enmeshed in bitter supremacy battle, preventing it to conduct proper primary according to electoral guidelines.

Copyright © 2021 CableNews Nigeria.

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