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Defection: PDP to sue Umahi, Ayade, others – Ologbodiyan

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THE National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Kola Ologbodiyan has said the party would sue all members elected on its platform in 2019 that eventually defected.

Ologbodiyan stated this on Thursday when he appeared on Arise TV’s “The Morning Show”.

The PDP had dragged Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle to court following his recent defection from the party to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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Matawalle was the third governor of the PDP to quit the party after the 2019 general elections.

Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi and Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade had dumped the party without the threat of litigation from the PDP.

Fielding questions from the programme anchors, Ologbodiyan said: “The fact that we have not gone to court in the other cases does not foreclose the fact that we might still go to court.”

He said the party’s lawyers were taking action on the defectors, including state and federal lawmakers who left the party.

According to him, the lawyers had said the cases of all lawmakers who defected from the party should be “self-activated,” that is, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should withdraw their certificate of return.

“The party has decided to go to court on the matter on every seat on which defection has occurred,” the party’s spokesperson said.

Despite the crisis rocking the party, Ologbodiyan said the PDP was the party to beat in 2023.

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He said the PDP was the only party that had structures across every nook and cranny of the country.

“If you recall, ahead of 2019, we had the governor of the APC in the party. We had national legislators joining the party. We are in the first leg of the season, although that is not how politics ought to be played. But in our part of the world here, that is what has become part of us.”

He said many of the governors who left the party did so become of personal interest.

He said the party would begin its online registration soon to attract more members.

According to him, the party published the logo for the online registration, and it attracted over a million likes in less than 48 hours.

“Not even INEC can achieve that within 48 hours,” he said.

Ologbodinyan boasted that the party was waxing stronger and would be the party to beat in 2023.

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He said some of the party’s National Executive Committee who resigned their position on Monday were reconsidering their decision.

He tactically avoided some questions on the TV programme.

For instance, he refused to comment on the reported frosty relationship between Wike and the party’s embattled National Chairman Uche Secondus.

Apart from the governors and lawmakers who had defected from the party after the 2019 general election, the Supreme Court sacked Emeka Ihedioha as Imo State governor in January 2020 and replaced him with a serving senator, Hope Uzodinma.

Ihedioha, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, was elected on the PDP’s platform.

Former Senate President Bukola Saraki has been leading the party elders to pacify aggrieved members.

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