On Need For Political Parties to Obey Their Own Constitutions: PDP Ilegal Game Against the South East Region And the Law

PEGASUS LEGAL

PDP is a party that is very big and strong,but it is being destroyed by lack of leadership. Why should National Chairman of the PDP, Iyuorcha Ayu say that he is winning to step aside if a Northerner is elected as the party’s presidential flagbearer. They are just playing dangerous game with the southern Nigerian. To deny their own Constitution is very sad._Chief Edwin Clark Speaking to Arise Tv crew on the issue of politicised zoning clause in the party’s Constitution.

Sequel to the above,Chief Abubakar Kawu Baraje, former National Chairman of PDP, while fielding questions from news on whether there is zoning in the PDP Constitution, stated thus:-

Zoning is clearly stated in the PDP Constitution to give party members
a sense of belonging. It is not in the Constitution of PDP before, but it is now
clearly stated in the PDP Constitution that zoning should be respected “.

There is caveat in the Constitution which says that zoning should be respected
for purpose of giving a sense of belonging to all members of the party and for
all-inclusiveness except and only when a resolution of the NEC decides otherwise.

The law is quite settled that political parties must obey their own Constitutions and guidelines as the court will not allow them to act arbitrarily or as they like. See Uzodimma vs. Izunaso (No 2) (2011) 17 NWLR (Pt.1275) 3o where Onnoghen, JSC, (as he then was)submitted thus:

“From all i have endeavoured to say above, it is crystal clear that the Primaries
which produced the first Defendant was fraught with manifold irregularities outside
the fact that he was not even qualified to contest same. Thus, since only the
plaintiff and the 1st Defendant were the contestants, the 2nd Defendant ought to
have given effect to the recommendation of its primary Election Appeal Panel
which recommends that Appellant’s name be submitted to the 3rd Respondent- INEC.
There is nothing on record to contradict the principle of rotation as contained in
the said report. The principles of justice, equity and fair play demanded that
since Konshisha Local Government Area had taken the office of senate through
Senator Gemade, the other local Government Area is Vandeikya, where the Plaintiff
belongs ought to produce a member of the House of Representatives seat. I do not
know how politicians think but for me,it was unfair to give both the senate and
House of Representatives seatbto Konshisha Local Government while Vandeikya had
nothing to show for it. I need not say more on this”
Again, Hon.Justice Kekere-Ekun, JSC, at Page 297, paras F-G Mato Vs. Hember (2018) NWLR (Pt.1612) 266
Submitted thus:

“The only way our Democratic dispensation can work effectively is where every
aspirant for political office, who is qualified to contest an Election, is given an
even playing field. The failure of internal democracy within our political parties
right from the grassroots level eventually leads to instability in the entire
political system. The failure of internal democracy is one of the resons why the
court’s dockets are congested with pre_ Election disputes.”

Therefore, it has gone beyond debate that therebis zoning in the PDP and APC Constitution. The issue is whether the Constitution is observed more in breach than in compliance. For instance, the PDP has been observing their zoning formula until it comes to the the turn of the South-East Region who has sticked with PDP throughout its inception.

The zoning clause in the PDP Constitution is in line with Section 14 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). It aims at stabilising a highly diversified country as ours but returnig Atiku when Buhari is just about completing his 8 years tenure smears of inequity and injustice against the South-east Region.

How PDP will fair in the next coming election will be largely determined by how the South-East Region and South South Region which are naturally

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