By Lawrence Olaoye
Secretary, Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and National Chairman, Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA), Comrade Peter Ameh yesterday declared that elected defectors from one party to another must vacate their seats to allow for a fresh election.
Ameh while reacting to the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega’s submission to that effect insisted that political parties on whose platforms elections are fought and won actually own the seats and not the individuals who occupy them.
Ameh, who participated in the All Political Parties’Summit chaired by former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, held in Abuja yesterday said “As a PPA member, it is the right thing because our party has suffered in this process. The law exists but the law does not have teeth to bite. There was an amendment by the National Assembly that said if there is crisis in the party, but how do you justify if there is crisis in a party. A man can just wake up tomorrow and say I am the national chairman of a party and the public will believe him, hence we should remove that law”.
“I want to say that my party PPA stands by this law that if anybody has won an election under a platform of a party and crosses the carpet, you don’t have to wait for the clerk to pass a letter to INEC; the person should vacate the seat with immediate effect”.
He recalled that the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) suffered the same feat when from 9 states under its kitty, the party went down after politicians who had earlier won election on the party’s platform left in droves. “Let us forget about laws. Even under moral grounds, a sane person will know that after the people have toiled to elect you, you now turn around and say you have decamped, look at former governor Peter Obi, if they have dumped APGA, will APGA be today”?
He stressed that if Nigeria is desirous of restructuring the political system, the political class must come together and openly condemn people defecting from one party after winning an election on the platform of the party.
Ameh who warned that the political class must eschew statements capable of inciting violence in the society also urged politicians to unite against the challenge of insurgency in the country.
He said “We should all come out and condemn insurgency, because Nigerians are losing their lives” he said.