*It’s a big lie, no crisis in PDP
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara to vacate the seats of the two members that dumped the party last Thursday.
Two PDP members, Zephaniah Jisalo and Yusuf Tijjani abandoned the party and joined the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
According to our report, the two lawmakers disclosed their defection in separate letters read on the floor by the speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
Jisalo and Tijjani represent AMAC/Bwari federal constituency of the FCT and Okene/Ogori-Magogo federal constituency of Kogi State respectively.
They attributed their defection to division in the various state chapters of PDP.
In a swift reaction, the minority whip of the house, Umar Barde, cited Section 68 of Nigerian constitution which states that a legislator will automatically vacate his seat if he/she leaves his political party without division.
However, Dogara ruled Minority whip out of order on the ground that only court of law could decide the fate of the defected members.
Reacting to the development, PDP demanded that the two erring Members be sacked from the House saying:
“No Division In PDP. Hon. Tijani and Jisalo must vacate our seats at the House of Representatives.”
The PDP statement to that effect is published verbatim:
The attention of the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been drawn to the act of illegality perpetrated on the Floor of the House of Representatives today (Thursday) by two members of the Parliament who were elected on the Platform of our Party.
2. We wish to announce to all Nigerians that the PDP as a Party, do not have any crisis nor do we have any division within the leadership structure of our Party which could justify the Decision of the Two House of Representatives Members to jump ship.
3. In the light of this, we wish to inform all Nigerians and the leadership of the National Assembly, most especially, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara that the Duo of Hon. Ahmed Tijani from Kogi State and Zaphaniah Jisalo from the FCT who announced their defection from our Party to the Ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have embarked on illegal acts, contrary to the Provisions of the Nigerian Constitution.
4. Their excuses for defecting from our Party are vague, cooked up and purely irrelevant to any section of the Nigerian Constitution.
5. We thus expect and demand, that the Honourable Speaker and the Body of Principal Officers of the House of Representatives, act in accordance with the Oath of allegiance they took to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by immediately ensuring that the Seats of these defectors are declared vacant .
6. In the face of tyranny that is gradually creeping on the Nation, the least the leadership of the National Assembly – the Greatest Beacon of Democracy can do, is to stick with the Rule of Law and uphold the dictates of the Constitution without fear or favour, without considering allegiance to any political affiliation.
7. As a political Party, we stand by the patriotic and constitutional position taken by Hon. Yakubu Barde from Kaduna and that of Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai from Delta State who stood against the dastardly act which these former members of our Party exhibited in the Chambers of the House of Representatives when their supposed letters of defections were read out by Speaker Dogara to whom the letters were submitted.
8. We expect nothing aside a noble support by the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the Rule of Law, and we say loud and clear that there is no division whatsoever in our Party, the PDP that would have served as justification for the defections announced by the Two Members in the Chamber.
9. For clarity purpose, the Supreme Court, the Highest Court in this Nation, has decided in a landmark Judgement delivered on July 12, 2017, that there is no leadership crisis in the PDP and as such, the Party under the acceptable leadership of the National Caretaker Committee (NCC) is the only leadership recognised by law as the authentic leadership of the PDP.
10. We wish to point out clearly that anyone who announces any defection from the PDP, citing any sort of internal crisis is being a liar.
11. Based on the foregoing, we demand the immediate declaration of the Seats of Hon Ahmed Tijani from Kogi State and Zaphaniah Jisalo from the FCT, vacant.
Long live the PDP! Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!
Prince Dayo Adeyeye
National Publicity Secretary