You can’t remove Ekweremadu, PDP warns APC senators

Chidi Samuel

Two days ago, the former Senate majority leader, Senator Ali Ndume warned following his removal, that the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu maybe the next person to be removed from office. This was followed by the the call on the Deputy Senate President by Senator Kabiru Marafa, from Zamfara, to defect to the APC in order to retain his seat citing Section 68(G) of the 1999 constitution to justify his call.

But the Peoples Democratic Party on Thursday called on Ekweremadu to ignore the threat by the APC,  as any attempt to remove him as the Deputy Senate President will be an “invitation to anarchy.

The PDP position was contained in statement signed by Dayo Adeyeye, spokesman of the caretaker committee of the Party.

According to Adeyeye, ” 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.

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“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.”

Adeyeye maintained that it was wrong for Senator Marafa to use the the crisis in the PDP as an excuse to call on Ekweremadu to defect insisting that the PDP was not factionalised.

“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.

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“A mere rebellion by a small interest group within the party cannot be referred to factionalisation of the party.”

Adeyeye stated that the current leadership arrangement in the senate is not unprecedented in the political history of the Country, citing the second republic where leadership positions were shared between the NPN and NPP in the National Assembly.

He explained, “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.”

“It is worthy of note that both of them worked harmoniously with the cooperation of the Executive in moving the country forward.”

The statement therefore, 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”.