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Friday, January 13, 2017

Raging Battle Over Plot To Remove Ike Ekweremadu As Deputy Senate President

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the call on Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to retain his position.

Describing the call as an “invitation to anarchy, Dayo Adeyeye, spokesman of the caretaker committee of the party, said the senate does not belong to the ruling party.
On Wednesday, Kabiru Marafa, a senator from Zamfara, advised Ekweremadu to defect to the APC in order to
retain his seat.
“I am using this medium to call on Ekweremadu to simply decamp. Section 68(G) of the 1999 constitution captures this,” he had said.
But describing the call as “unconstitutional and undemocratic”, Adeyeye said the section of the 1999 constitution which Marafa quoted as backing his advice to Ekweremadu was untrue.
“There is no section or clause of the 1999 constitution (as amended) that provides that one must be a member of the ruling party before he could be elected into any position in the senate or the house of representatives,” he said in a statement.
“Equally, it is very distasteful and uncharitable for any senator to stand on the floor of the hallowed chamber and ask his colleague to violate the constitution by cross-carpeting from his own party to join the ruling party.
“It is the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not senate of the APC.
“Let us remind Sen. Marafa that Sen. Ike Ekweremadu was elected as deputy president of senate by majority votes from both the PDP and APC senators.
“Any attempt to remove Sen. Ekweramadu for being a member of the opposition party and not because of a constitutional breach or incompetence is a call for anarchy.”
It added that it was laughable for Marafa to cite the internal issues in the PDP as a reason for Ekweremadu to defect to the APC.
“For the umpteenth time, let us reiterate that there is no faction in the PDP,” he said.
“A party is only factionalised when its organs are in disarray, but this is different in the PDP where all the organs are intact, behind the national caretaker committee under the chairmanship of Sen. Makarfi.
“A mere rebellion by a small interest group within the party cannot be referred to factionalisation of the party.”
It cautioned that any PDP member using the current leadership disagreement caused by the “rebellious group” to defect to another party was doing so at his or her peril.
It said Marafa or any other member of the APC had no power to make such demands on a member of the PDP.
The PDP recalled that the current situation in the senate where the senate president and his deputy were from different parties should not continue to appear strange to anybody in a democratic system.
“For instance, in the second republic, the speaker of the house of representatives, Edwin Umezuoke, was from opposition NPP while the senate president was from the ruling party, the NPN,” the PDP said.
“It is worthy of note that both of them worked harmoniously with the cooperation of the Executive in moving the country forward.”
The party urged the national assembly members to remain strong and united behind Ekweremadu with determination not to allow “anybody to truncate the hard-earned democracy through undemocratic tendencies”.
It also called on APC lawmakers in the national assembly to work together with other lawmakers to protect and advance Nigeria’s democracy.

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