By Patrick Andrew
The National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh has said that the party will provide a decent and credible opposition that will constructively proffer sound alternatives to the policies and programmes of the in-coming administration without recourse to insults, propaganda and deceit.
Metuh who stated this at an FRCN political programme on Thursday evening said the PDP would never insult or denigrate the office and person of the Nigerian President.
“The PDP is a political party built on values, tradition and utmost respect for democratic tenets. Our manifesto and ideology center on national peace, stability and prosperity and we shall uphold this at all times. In this wise, the PDP as always, will continue to work in the general interest of the Nigerian people.
“We will not resort to insults, blackmail and lies with the aim to distract or ridicule the person or office of the President. However, we must state in very strong terms that we will not allow them to lead the nation astray. So we will firmly oppose any anti-people policy and programmes as may be introduced by the APC.
“We will do this by presenting sound alternatives in such a manner that Nigerians will be the utmost beneficiaries especially on issues that will lead the nation in the path of national unity and development”, Metuh said while responding to questions at the programme.
Commenting on the conduct of the April 11, 2015 governorship and state assembly elections, Metuh lamented that the process was characterized by brazen irregularities against the PDP in most states. He upbraided INEC and security agencies for the barefaced overzealousness on the part of some of their personnel to please the winners of the Presidential elections.
Metuh said concerns are already on the rise regarding the fate of the nation’s democracy under the APC especially given fears that the impunity that characterizes the local government elections it conducts in Southwest states may now be extended to other parts of the nation.
The court noted that the division and factionalisation, cited by Abegunde as his excuse for abandoning the LP, was only at the state level. He had in a bid to pre-empt his recall by the party, filed a suit at the Federal High Court and subsequently at the Appeal Court. But he lost in both, leading to his resort to the Supreme Court for the final verdict.
Justice Musa Muhammad, who read the lead judgment, held that only a “division” that makes it “impossible or impracticable” for the party to function, by virtue of the provision in Section 68(1)(g) of the constitution, justifies a person’s defection to another party.
The decision, according to legal luminaries would shade light on issues of lawmakers vacating their seats in the parliament once they have defected to another political other than the one that had sponsored them to the assembly.
It also makes clear that conflict that could serve as grounds for defection must be national in nature to serve as credible basis for an elected representative to defect to another party and still retain his seat in the assembly.
Peoples Daily Weekend recalls that similar cases are pending in courts including those filed by the PDP against the 13 Senators that had defected to the then newly formed APC, and the case that party filed against the Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who had dumped the ruling party to the opposition APC sometime in October, last but declined to vacate his seat, among several other similar cases.
This ruling no doubt would put a stop to the gale of defection that has hit the Nigerian polity in the countdown to the 2015 general elections, and after.
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