19 July 2021
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THE Peoples Democratic Party has vowed to pursue its case against the defection of some of its governors and members of the National and State Assemblies up to the Supreme Court, should the need arise.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan said this in a telephone interview with The PUNCH, in Abuja, on Sunday.
He explained that the PDP, as a law-abiding political institution, still has confidence in the judiciary and was willing to pursue any infringement on its rights and privileges as guaranteed in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As amended), to the highest Court in the land.
Ologbondiyan said, “We are in court. We are in court because the free will of citizens in the affected states especially in Zamfara has been trampled upon.
“There has been a judicial pronouncement about the fact that a candidate for an election must be sponsored by a political party.
“The mandate these people received was not a personal mandate, it is the mandate of the PDP; they left our party, they can very well leave the mandate freely given to our party behind.”
In response to a question on what the party’s chances were in 2023 in the light of the defection of three of its serving governors, and the threat of others to join them, Ologbondiyan said, “The PDP is an institution which the Nigerian people at all levels have known and accepted since 1998.
“We have no doubt in our minds that Nigerians who have experienced the famine, ineptitude and devastation which the current All Progressives Congress regime represents, will vote massively for our party.
“Those who left us to join APC will soon realise, like many have, that the APC is not a party of progressives but a gang of persons desperate to hold on to power without responsibility.”
While responding to claims by the PDP that members of the APC were power-mongers, the National Secretary of the governing party, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, dismissed the PDP’s assertions.
He said, “It’s a pity that the opposition party is finding its own medicine bitter. Was it not the same PDP that decimated the South West by taking over all the states controlled by the Alliance for Democracy? We are not desperate to hold power, we are in power, we are only consolidating power for the good of the Nigerian people.
“The leadership being provided by President Muhammadu Buhari and his integrity is attracting like-minded members of the opposition to join us. Ask them, none of them was compelled to join us.
Principal Partner of Law Corridor Partners, an Abuja based law firm, Pelumi Olajengbesi while commenting on the case instituted by the PDP against governors who defected from the party said, “Whatever the court pronounces as a judgment in these matters will add to jurisprudence.
“The party is the sponsor of the candidate, that is why you don’t have the name of the candidate on the ballot paper. It is usually the name and logo of political parties.
“However, the Court will look at all the material facts and evidence before it in each particular case before making a pronouncement. We all will await the judgment of the Courts. I see this matter going up to the Supreme Court.”
Director-General of the Heritage Centre, a Think Tank dedicated to research into economics, politics and opinion in Nigeria, Dr Katch Ononuju, expressed optimism that despite the defection of some of its serving governors, the PDP has an opportunity to reinvent itself in time to regain power in 2023