Controversy over the constitutionality of defection from one political party to the other replayed Wednesday on the floor of the Senate when Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers kicked against the defection of Senator Ibrahim Danbaba to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Danbaba representing Sokoto South senatorial district dumped the PDP for the APC. He wrote the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to inform the Senate of his decamping The Trumpet gathered.
In the letter read by Lawan, the lawmaker who until the notification was the Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate cited the continued and multi-faceted crisis that bedevilled the PDP in Sokoto State
Danbaba said, “I write to formally inform you and my distinguished colleagues of my decision to join the APC from the PDP”.
He said his decision was “anchored on the continuing and multifaceted crises that have bedevilled the PDP, especially at the zonal level, which has created, not only credibility problem but has undermined party discipline, cohesion and focus”.
Danbaba added that “the situation at the state level has not helped matters either as depicted by lack of political sanity, focus and credible leadership.
“I have in APC a political ideology in consonance with my political philosophy. This ideology is also best suited to meet the expectations and aspirations of my constituents”.
His excuses for leaving PDP did not go down well with the Minority Whip, Philip Aduda who punctured Danbaba’s claim.
Coming under Senate Oder 42 (personal explanation), Aduda said “my immediate former Deputy Senate Minority Whip, Danbaba has alluded to the fact that there are crises in the Northwest region of the PDP and also said there was crisis in the state chapter of the party. I want to say there are no crises in the PDP in the Northwest or the state chapter. His might be personal, otherwise, there are no crises in PDP. I want the general public to take note.”
Another PDP lawmaker, Senator Uche Ekwunife delved into constitutionality and consequently asked Danbaba to relinquish his seat.
Her demand was in accordance with section 68 (g) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended, which says “if a person whose election to a particular position by a political party becomes a member of another party before the expiration of the term for which he was elected should relinquish his seat, provided that the defection of the person is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously sponsored.”
She was however interrupted by the Senate President who said Ekwunife had finished even though she vehemently protested that had not finished.
“I want to advise you that some of these things you have said should not be recorded” so that one day you will stand up there and say that you want to move to this side (defect) and all those things you have said will come back to hunt you, Lawan said.
In reference to section 68 (g) of the constitution, Lawan said “we are at liberty, as elected by the people when our parties are torn into pieces and factions are being such irredeemable and destructive crises, we are free to leave”.