The Rivers House of Assembly has declared the 25 seats of members who recently defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, vacant.
The motion was unanimously supported by the four-member assembly, led by Edison Ehie (PDP, Ahoada II), during Wednesday’s plenary.
Speaker Ehie stated in his comment that the house had received notices and correspondences, as well as press publications, from 25 house members regarding their formal defection from PDP to APC.
“We are aware that it is the right of members and for every Nigerian regarding freedom of association. While we respect that constitutional right, we are also mindful as a legislative assembly of our allegiance to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, and our oaths of office to defend the Constitution, which is our guide.
“The actions of these honourable members and colleagues who have been on suspension is a gross violation of the Constitution, which provides that a member of the state house of assembly shall only defect to another party other than the party on whose platform they were elected if there is a division or crisis in the parent party.
“As we all know, there is no crisis in our great party, the PDP; therefore, the provision of Section 109, Sub 1, Paragraph G of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, attracts a vacation of the seats of these affected members,” Ehie said.
He further stated that PDP is neither in crisis nor divided because it has maintained an unbroken national leadership.