PDP to Ebonyi lawmakers: You can’t run away with our mandate

By Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has threatened legal actions against any member of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly that may defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The party sounded the warning in Abuja on Friday, following the recent defection of the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi from the PDP to the APC.

In an interactive session with newsmen, the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan said the electoral law that permitted Governor Umahi to defect to the APC is not applicable to members of the state assembly.

Ologbondiyan said the party had already taken a decision at its Thursday’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, to drag any of the assembly members to court should they follow the governor’s footstep.

According to him, the lawmakers who were all elected on the platform of the PDP will not be allowed to run away with the party’s mandate.

Recall that some legislators in the Imo State House of Assembly elected on the platform of the PDP had defected to the APC in May, shortly after the Supreme Court sacked Mr Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP and declared Senator Hope Uzodinma of the APC as governor. The PDP has yet to challenge the action of the defected legislators.

Read Also: PDP hits Umahi for joining APC

He said, “That was an issue that was discussed both at the caucus and at the NEC meetings. I want to place on record that any legislator elected on the platform of PDP in Ebonyi state will not run away with our mandate.

“I want to assure Nigerians on that. We are going to challenge it and for the first time, we are going to subject that process to judicial test because it is clearly stated in the constitution that unless there is a division within the party, you cannot be a member of parliament and change parties. The situation we have in Imo state, we are going to test that law in the court”.

On claims by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State that nine governors of the PDP were getting set to defect to the APC, Ologbondiyan said the governor lied.

Bello had said that three of the PDP governors had already agreed to defect to the ruling party and that discussions were in advance stage with the others.

But Ologbondiyan said Governor Bello, who made the declaration on a national television on Thursday, was only on a mission to entertain Nigerians with his ” usual idle talks ”

He said, “Governor Bello lies with careless abandon. He tells lies without a feeling. He is a rabid liar. He is somebody who already has a background of capacity to tell lies without minding whether people are watching him or not.

” Bello doesn’t care whether people realise that what he is saying is true or not. You don’t take such a character seriously.

“So for us in the PDP, Yahaya Bello simply went to entertain Nigerians on Channels TV on Thursday. If anybody tells you that 10 governors will leave PDP who would believe such nonsense.

“What is the attraction in APC? In the fullness of time, the reason for Umahi’s defection will be made known to every Nigerian. If you watch his defection yesterday (Thursday) the only thing you have for Umahi is pity because he was empty.

” Look at the people around him. If he was fighting because of the Southeast, how come the people around him were APC members from a particular part of our country.

“How come you cannot find Ohanaeze people, how come you cannot find the egalitarian and educated people of the Southeast standing with him on the podium.

“We are not going to engage him on whether he has left the party or not. He has crossed the bridge and burnt that particular bridge and there is no going back for him.

“What we have for him in PDP is just pity. Every political party has a season of contestation for power. The unfortunate thing for Nigerians today is the fact that we have an administration that is not performing.

“An administration that Nigerians have already moved beyond. And that is why three years before the 2023 elections, Nigerians are already contesting over who will occupy which office or the other.”