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Matawalle’s Defection: PDP Behaving Like A Comedy Troupe – Keyamo

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Matawalle's Defection: PDP Behaving Like A Comedy Troupe – Keyamo
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Matawalle’s Defection: PDP Behaving Like A Comedy Troupe – Keyamo

Festus Keyamo (SAN), Minister of State for Labour and Employment has described the position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the defection of Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as Illogical and laughable.

In a statement on Tuesday, Keyamo said the PDP ‘s statement asking banks not to carry out financial transactions with the governor on the grounds that he has vacated his office by defecting to APC as a joke.

He said it is surprising that the PDP which celebrated the defections of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo is now crying over Matawalle’s defection to APC.

My attention has been drawn to a statement credited to the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan, cautioning banks and other financial institutions to be wary of financial transactions with Governor A.A. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State on the ground that Governor Matawalle has ‘vacated’ his office as Governor by defecting to the APC.

The PDP also stated in very clear terms that the Deputy Governor, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau, now holds the Zamfara Governorship mandate and ought to be accorded the protection and privileges due the office of Governor as the formal process for his official declaration as substantive Governor of Zamfara State has commenced at the Federal High Court.

“I was tempted to dismiss this statement by the PDP with a wave of the hand as a joke but I quickly realized that some of the tumultuous moments we have had as a country began as seemingly innocent jokes. My intervention is therefore borne out of patriotism (yes, I admit, maybe partisanship too) and a duty to set the records straight.”

“To give its illogical assertions some veil of constitutionality, the PDP placed reliance on Section 221 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as well as the judgment of the Supreme Court in Faleke v. INEC.”

Unfortunately for the PDP, the Supreme Court decision in Faleke v. INEC does not relate to the consequence of the defection of a Governor from one political party to the other. A more apt instance will be the Atiku Abubakar scenario wherein Atiku Abubakar as Vice President, elected under the PDP, defected to the then Action Congress. President Olusegun Obasanjo attempted to declare his office vacant in circumstances similar to the Zamfara scenario and the dispute ended in Court.

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Matawalle’s Defection: PDP Behaving Like A Comedy Troupe – Keyamo

“I was part of the legal team at the time. It is trite that under the 1999 constitution, provisions relating to removal of the President/Vice President are replicated with respect to Governors/Deputy Governors. The position of the Supreme Court was reported as ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION V. ABUBAKAR (2007) 10 NWLR (PART 1041) 1. At page 124 of the Report, Honourable Justice Onnoghen set down the position thus:”

“There is no where in the 1999 Constitution where it is stated that the President or Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be removed or is removable from that office if he defects from the political party on whose platform he was elected to that office and joins another political party.”

“It is the Constitutional responsibility of the Legislature to make or amend the laws including the Constitution, where the need arises, while that of the judiciary remains to interpret and apply the laws so made or amended. The courts can therefore not add to nor subtract from the law as enacted by the Legislature under the guise of judicial interpretation of the Constitution or Statute which the appellant desires this court to do in the instant case on appeal.”

“Additionally, Section 221 of the 1999 Constitution does not avail the PDP any protection and is not remotely applicable to the present situation in Zamfara State. Section 221 of the 1999 Constitution merely deals with the prohibition of political activities by associations other than political parties.”

“The attempt by the PDP to import the provisions of section 68 of the 1999 Constitution into section 221 of the 1999 Constitution smacks of mischief. If the intent of the draftsmen was to prohibit the defection of Governors to other political parties, it would have been so expressly stated like in the case of lawmakers.”

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“The provisions of the 1999 Constitution are very clear on the grounds for the removal of an Executive Governor of a State from office and defection to another political party is not one of such grounds. The Constitution has ‘covered the field’. However, in its characteristic manner, the PDP has interpreted the law to suit its mischief. At Page 179 of AGF v. ABUBAKAR (supra), Honourable Justice Aderemi went further to add as follows:”

“It is manifest from the above quoted constitutional provisions that the law-makers intended to and indeed have made punishable the defection of an elected member, from the political party that sponsored him, to another political party before the expiration of the period for which the House was elected by declaring his seat vacant. No similar provision was made for the Vice President even for the President. If the legislators had intended the Vice President or even the President to suffer the same fate, they would have inserted that provision in clear terms……”

“I have earlier said in this judgment that the removal of the President and/or Vice President from office is an exclusive function of the National Assembly. To stealthily read words in the terms of Section 68(1)(g) or Section 109(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution into Section 146(3)(c) of the same Constitution and hold that, by his conduct, the Vice President has voluntarily vacated his office will paint a picture of the judiciary foraging into the exclusive territory of the legislators.”

Matawalle’s Defection: PDP Behaving Like A Comedy Troupe – Keyamo

“It is extremely laughable that the PDP that celebrated the defection of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State from the APC to the PDP with such elaborate ballyhoo and fanfare would muster the effrontery to attempt to remove Governor Bello Matawalle from office for defecting to the APC. Once again, it is simply ridiculous.”

One interesting point the Supreme Court also made in the Atiku Abubakar’s case which must have been lost on the PDP is that once a candidate is elected as President or Vice-President (in this case, a Governor) he automatically drops the ticket upon which he/she rode to power and becomes a President or Vice-President of the FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, and not of that political party.

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The ticket is only a VEHICLE to get elected. Once elected, the Governor drops that party ticket and becomes a free agent for EVERYONE in that State. He is therefore free to associate (and decamp) as he likes to any political party. The Supreme Court judgment on Zamfara did not proscribe APC as a political party in the State.

It only prohibited it from sponsoring candidates AT THE ELECTION (and not from receiving members to its fold subsequently). Perhaps, the PDP is assuming that it continues to sponsor Matawale IN OFFICE as Governor. No. That SPONSORSHIP ended the MOMENT Gov. Matawale was elected”.

In fact, to stretch the matter further, belonging to a political party is ONLY for the purpose of ELECTION for President, Vice-President, Governor and Deputy Governor (this may not apply to Legislators as they must continue to belong to a political party whilst in office).

So, a Governor, upon being elected can even decide not to belong to a Political Party. In fact to follow the warped logic of PDP on this issue, all a political party needs to do to get rid of a Governor from office is to expel the Governor from the Party!

“I also wonder the audacity the PDP has to directly instruct banks not to transact any business with a duly elected Governor. This is such a joke that it portrays the PDP as a comedy troupe. It is also very seditious to attempt to shut down or take over the Government of Zamfara State without a court order and by unconstitutional means. This must be deprecated by all Nigerians.”

“The PDP should realise that its infantile and illogical position in the case of ZAMFARA appears as a joke, but it has the capability of causing chaos in the State by inciting the uninformed ones in that great State to resort to lawlessness. My advice for the PDP is to concentrate on calming its rocking boat and not to be chasing a horse that has already bolted from the stable. I rest my case.”

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Senate spokesman says 2023 elections is between APC, PDP

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Senate spokesman says 2023 elections is between APC, PDP

The Chairman of the Senate Committee of Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru, on Wednesday, ruled out any third political force, noting that the 2023 elections will be a contest between the ruling All Progressives Congress and the leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party.

The Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial District in the 9th National Assembly spoke on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ current affairs programme monitored by The PUNCH.

Specifically, Basiru said the Rescue Nigeria Project unveiled on Tuesday by ex-Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega; foremost Nigerian Professor of Political Economy, Pat Utomi, alongside several politicians, would fail.

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According to him, an “assemblage of failed politicians” cannot say they want to rescue Nigerians or give a third force to the country in 2023.

“The so-called Special Rescue Project is a special purpose vehicle which is bound to fail and it would fail definitely,” he stated.

Senate spokesman says 2023 elections is between APC, PDP

Continuing, Basiru said, “As far as I am concerned, you can mark today’s date, nothing serious would come out of the so-called effort that is put in place.”

“In this country, setting up political parties have become business and for some people, they set up political parties to have opportunities of speaking on national television, some opportunities to also relate with other politicians and get something or the other but they are not really serious politicians.

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“As far as I am concerned today, if electoral contest is anything to go about today, you can only mention political parties like APC, PDP, APGA –may be in a particular state, and some splinter parties.

“The truth is that the 2023 election is going to be about a choice between the APC, my political party and the party of President Muhammadu Buhari, and the PDP. The other people, the third force, there was a time some people even named their own political party, Mega Political Party, at the end of the day, Mega Political Party never had a councillor not to talk of a chairman.

“I want to say with all sense of responsibility that it is wrong to say that the APC should be thrown away. My party, the APC has brought quantum development in all aspects,” the Senator stated.

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“We are the best that has ever happened to the country since 1999 and we are going to continue to provide leadership to the country beyond 2023. I am very confident about that,” he stated.

But reacting on the television programme, Yunusa Tanko, a member of the National Consultative Front, which floated the Rescue Nigeria Project, lambasted the Senator for his “grandstanding”.

Tanko insisted that his group would provide better alternatives for Nigerians who are tired of the failure of the ruling APC.

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Only APC Leaders Know Why They Allowed Kayode Into APC – El-Rufai

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Only APC Leaders Know Why They Allowed Kayode Into APC – El-Rufai

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has stated his position on the defection of former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

El-Rufai said only APC leaders who brought Fani-Kayode back into the party could explain why they allowed him.

He stated his position while responding to journalists who asked for his response on Fani-Kayode’s defection at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to El-Rufai: “I don’t comment on the decisions and actions of the leaders of the party. They have the job of running the party and they have to make the judgment on who to bring into the party.

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“And you know politics is a game of addition. So you want to add and add. And they have taken that decision. But I don’t comment on that because they are the ones running the party.

Only APC Leaders Know Why They Allowed Kayode Into APC – El-Rufai

“If I bring someone to Kaduna and you asked the Kaduna State Government to explain, I will explain. I don’t know how to run the party.

“I was deputy national Secretary for a short while and it was the only experience I had in party management. So I won’t comment on that.”

The former Aviation Minister had last week defected to the APC, after u ars of criticizing the ruling party.

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Fani-Kayode’s defection was made public when he was officially presented to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He was presented to the president by APC acting National Chairman, Mai Mala-Buni.

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If you are not sponsoring Boko Haram then expose sponsors – PDP dares Buhari

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If you are not sponsoring Boko Haram then expose sponsors - PDP dares Buhari
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If you are not sponsoring Boko Haram then expose sponsors – PDP dares Buhari

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the refusal of the Buhari Presidency to expose the names of sponsors Boko Haram and other terror groups in Nigeria.

The opposition said Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) government are giving the impression of “official cover for terrorists and bandits pillaging the nation”.

In a statement on Tuesday, PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan lambasted the government for saying it would not expose the identity of terror masterminds.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) had revealed the names of six Nigerians funding Boko Haram in a list of more than 50 individuals and entities.

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“The decision of the APC-led government to cover the identities of sponsors of mindless mass killings, maiming, rapping, kidnapping of our compatriots as well as the endless violent marauding of our communities under the APC watch, validates our stand that such individuals have connections with the APC.

“This unpatriotic stance by the Buhari Presidency raises serious national anxieties of high-level complicity in the administration and further explains the reported compromising of our security system in the escalated killings and acts of terrorism in our country in the last six years under the APC.

If you are not sponsoring Boko Haram then expose sponsors – PDP dares Buhari

“Nigerians can see why the APC-led administration has failed to take decisive steps to tackle terrorism, why it prefers to negotiate with terrorists and even makes case for them, instead apprehending and prosecuting them, as witnessed in the beheading of rice farmers in Borno state.

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“The PDP had always alerted of a connection between the APC and terrorists ravaging various parts of our nation and how the APC, as a party, had always failed to forcefully condemn acts of terrorism in our country.

“Nigerians can recall how the APC vehemently defended and still habours the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, a self-confessed terrorism apologist, despite national outcry and demand for his sack.”

The PDP added that the APC has failed to account for bandits, thugs and hoodlums imported from neighboring countries to unleash violence on Nigerians and muscle the 2019 elections.

The party said if the APC and its administration have nothing to cover, they should publish the names of terror backers “instead of this vexatious desperation to provide official cover for them”.

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