Reps minority leaders protest as sixth Zamfara Rep dumps PDP for APC
ANOTHER member of the House of Representatives from Zamfara State, Kabiru Amadu, has formally announced his defection from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, read Amadu’s letter of defection at the plenary on Wednesday.
The leaders of the majority and minority caucuses of the House, however, traded words after Gbajabiamila read the letter.
The Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, who raised a point of order, said, “We have observed with dismay the continuous and serial disobedience of our Constitution by the Speaker, who continues to ignore, neglect and fail to activate Section 68 of the Constitution, with subsection 2, which by operation of our Constitution and law, and by our own rules, any member who defects on the floor of this parliament is bound to lose his (or her) seat.”
The Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-doguwa, repeatedly screamed, ‘Point of order!’
The Speaker said, “Honourable Toby, that you were given the privilege to speak on the floor – which is a privilege and actually not a right, because I can call on whoever I want to call on – does not give you the licence to address the chair in such languages. It does not at all! It does not give you that opportunity or licence to address the chair in any language that you so wish. It is actually against our rules.
“I am not here to sit and interpret the Constitution. The courts will interpret the Constitution and determine whether there is a break in a party or not. It is not for me to determine whether there is a split in any party; that is the function of the judiciary and you should know better. You are therefore overruled!”
The Minority Leader, Ndudi elumelu, regretted that the constitutional provisions guiding defection were being ignored and threatened that the minority caucus would challenge the defection in court.
elumelu said in part, “It appears that the people from Zamfara are yet to be well informed about what is going on in this country. And what is that? The APC has failed woefully; it has failed in providing security.
“If you read the letter as he so stated, there is no conflict in the PDP that would warrant his defection. I can assure you that we are challenging that in court, because it is wrong and it should not have happened; and I believe that when the court rules, you will not sit on it.”