By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
Arewa People’s Democratic Coalition (APDC) has commended the judgement of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for dismissing the suit Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), filed to declare the seat of Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State and his Deputy, Ivara Esu, vacant, following their defection to the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC.
They said Governor Ayade was validly elected on the platform of the PDP in 2015 and defected to the APC on May 20, 2021, along with his deputy, but Peoples Democratic Party took the Governor to court seeking an order directing him and his Deputy, Ivara Esu, to vacate office following their defection to the All Progressives Congress.
According to the northern-based group, the judgement delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, which held that defection to another political party was not stated as one of the grounds for the removal of either a governor or his deputy is a ‘Victory for Democracy’.
In a statement signed by the Coordinator of Arewa People’s Democratic Coalition, Comrade Mohammed Bagudu, the group praised the judgement, which ruled that Governor Ben Ayade and his Deputy could not be sacked from their positions, other than through statutory procedures that were stipulated in sections 180, 188 and 189 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The group in the statement noted that “The claim by PDP that votes at the election and elections were won by political parties and not their candidate or the candidates sponsored at the election by the political parties was not only debunked but dismissed in line with the constitution.
While congratulating the Governor for victory at the court, it further stated, “and now, Nigerians can see clearly now that PDP ran to court out of desperation, but we are highly elated that the court failed to heed to her frivolous claims.”
“We stand by our earlier resolution as members of a Northern group that have come strongly to supporting Governor Ben Ayade for his avowed commitment to good governance in Cross River State .”
“With this judgement, we are fully ready to hit the ground in our bid to embark on a house-to-house campaign for the man we have identified with a track record of performance and capacity to unite the country.”