- Governors and presidents who defect from the party on whose platform they were elected might start losing their seat
- This comes as Nigerian House of Representative members are actively planning to make a law to that effect
- According to the sponsor of the bill, this will help in strengthening Nigeria's democracy and political parties
Following the recent wave of cross carpeting among goverors, the House of Representatives is making moves to stop the act once and for all.
As it a result of this, the lawmakers are considering making a president or governor lose their seat if they defect from the political party on whose platform they were elected to another, Punch Newspaper reports.
The bill to make this possible was sponsored by a member of the Peoples Democratic Party from Taraba state, Rimamnde Kwewum.
Recall that governors including David Umahi of Ebonyi state, Ben Ayade of Cross River State and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state, all defected in recent times.
The bill, which is awaiting second reading by the House, seeks to amend sections 144(1) and 189(1) of the 1999 Constitution “to check incidents of defections, that is, cross-carpetings or abandoning the political party that sponsored a president, vice-president, governor or deputy governor, as the case may be, for another political party, in the absence of a merger of political parties, division or factions within the sponsoring political party.”
Recall that Legit.ng reported that Idagbo Ochiglegoor, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives, has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Ochiglegoor defected to the ruling party alongside another colleague, Michael Etaba.
The lawmakers cited an alleged crisis in the PDP in their state as the reason for dumping the party. However, Toby Okechukwu, the deputy minority leader, protested the defections and said there is no crisis in the PDP as they claimed.
Okechukwu argued that Ochiglegoor and Etaba ought to lose their seat for defecting from the party, citing section 68 of the constitution to back his claim.
Zamfara senator resigns from PDP
In a related development, Senator Hassan Mohammad Gusau has announced the resignation of his membership of the PDP.
This was disclosed by Ezrel Tabiowo, the special assistant press to the president of the Senate in a statement sent to Legit.ng.
The lawmaker representing Zamfara Central tendered his resignation in a letter addressed to the president of the Senate and read during the start of plenary on Tuesday, June 29.
House of Reps approve bill to create state police across Nigeria
Also, the House of Representatives has commenced the process of giving legal backing to the establishment of state police in Nigeria.
The legislators on Tuesday, July 6, passed for second reading, a bill seeking to amend the 1999 Constitution to allow the creation of state police and legalise regional security outfits.
The proposed legislation intends to decentralize the current police system by moving police from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list. The bill was sponsored by Onofiok Luke representing Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency.