IMPEACHMENT SAGA: “You can’t take Rivers by force” — PDP tells APC

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has urged the All Progressives Congress (APC), to quit any plans of forcefully taking over Rivers State.

The PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, made this statement during a media briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.

Governor Sim Fubara of Rivers State

Hon. Debo Ologunagba was addressing the remarks made by Mr. Tony Okocha, the Rivers State Chairman of the APC, who called for the impeachment of Governor Sim Fubara.

The PDP leader said as long as it is concerned, the lawmakers being instructed to impeach the governor don’t exist in the eyes of the law.

It explained that they had forfeited their legislative seats on account of the decision to resign from the PDP, a platform on which they were elected.

Ologunagba said, “The attention of the leadership of the PDP has been drawn to a delusional declaration by the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Mr. Tony Okocha, wherein he issued a hallucinatory directive that an impeachment proceeding be commenced against the democratically elected Governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara.

“Such reckless and unwarranted statement by the APC Chairman in Rivers State exposes the vile desperation of the APC, which is roundly rejected in Rivers State, to use violence, coercion and bullying to undermine the WILL of the people and forcefully take over the State.

“The fact that the Rivers State APC Chairman, in his warped imagination, thinks he can direct impeachment proceeding against a duly elected State Governor not only shows the level of APC’s arrogance and condescension for the people of Rivers State but also further confirms APC’s desperation to forcefully annex their democratic rights under the Constitution.

“In any event, the individuals that the Rivers State APC Chairman directed to commence impeachment proceedings against Governor Fubara are not legally members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and cannot contemplate or exercise such powers under the law.

“These individuals, by virtue of Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) have since vacated and lost their seats, rights, privileges, recognition and obligations accruable to members of the Rivers State House of Assembly after their defection from the PDP, the political Party platform upon which they were elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly

“For emphasis, Section 109 (1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution provides that:

“a member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if … (g) being a person whose election to the House of Assembly was sponsored by a political Party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected…”

The PDP Spokesperson further said, “It should be noted that Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution is self-executory.

“The import of this provision is that the members of the Rivers State House of Assembly who defected have vacated their seat by reason of that defection.

“The unlawful directive by the Rivers State APC Chairman to these individuals to commence an impeachment proceeding against the Governor is therefore a brazen call for anarchy as it amounts to an attempt to forcefully overthrow a democratic Order in clear violation of Section 1 sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“For clarity, Section 1 Sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides;

“The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any person or group of persons take control of the government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

“The PDP draws the attention of the Inspector General of Police to the subversive utterances of the APC Chairman in Rivers State which is capable of triggering crisis and derailing the Democratic Order in the country.

“The APC must perish the thought of forcefully taking over Rivers State as such is a direct assault on the sensibility of the people which will be resisted firmly.

“The APC Chairman in Rivers State should come to terms with the fact that Rivers State is home to PDP and that the people of Rivers State are not ready to put their destiny in the hands of a corrupt, oppressive and anti-people Special Purpose Vehicle like the APC.

“The national leadership of the PDP expresses appreciation to the people of Rivers State for always standing with the PDP and urges them to continue to resist the APC in its vicious attempt to inject violence and destabilize the State.” 

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