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MATAWALLE’S DEFECTION- BETWEEN LAW AND MORALITY

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By: Bello Galadi,
 
The planned defection of His Excellency Bello Mohammed (Matawallen Maradun), the Executive Governor of Zamfara State, from his party PDP, to the opposition APC, had heightened tension and generated heated debates. Some see the defection as illegal while some see it as morally reprehensible. I belong to the latter category.
There are quite a number of things that are morally right but legally prohibited. There are also things that are morally wrong but legally permissible. The defection of a sitting Governor is one of it.
Sections 68(1)(g) and 109(1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended) clearly prohibited sitting Senators, Members of the House of Representatives and Members of Houses of Assembly of States from defecting to other political parties before the expiration of their tenures and spelt out the legal consequences. The Draftsmen deliberately omitted the office of the President, Vice President, Governor and Deputy Governor, for reasons best known to them. That’s one of the injustices of our justice system- selectivity.
Similarly, Section 188(1) to (11) of the Constitution deliberately refused to recognize defection of a sitting Governor as one of the issues to qualify for impeachment. Therefore, issue of carpet- crossing by Governors is more of morality than legal.
In the case of Matawalle, he can choose not to defect for fear of unknown and the challenges he is likely to face in the APC, but not on the basis of any legal hindrance. He has the right to belong to the political party of his choice, in the exercise of his right under Section 40 of the Constitution and in the absence of any clear provision in the Constitution or Electoral Act that specifically prohibits sitting governors from defecting to another political party before the expiration of their tenure.
I read the arguments of those advocating that it is illegal for a Governor to defect. I also read the record of proceeding and all the orders made by the Supreme Court under which Matawalle was returned as the Governor of Zamfara State in 2019. There was no where the court, either directly or indirectly stated that Matawalle must remain in the PDP until the expiration of his tenure.
It is a settled principle of law that it is the party which sponsors a candidate in an election that wins the election, not the candidate. But once a Governor takes oath of office, it is no longer his political party that is running the office but the candidate. The issue of political party, in my humble opinion, is overtaken by event.
Whether or not my opinion is correct is left to be decided by the court. Whoever is aggrieved by the defection of Matawalle should approach a court of law for interpretation.
Under the principle of interpretation of the Nigerian statutes, it has been established and well settled that “the express mention of one thing in a statutory provision automatically excludes any other stipulation which would have been excluded by implication”. See the case of OPIA VS. INEC & ANOR. (2014) 3 SCM, 175.
In my opinion, Matawalle is morally obligated to remain in the PDP until May 29th 2023. However, he is legally free to defect to APC or NRM or any political party of his choice at any given time.
Barka da shan ruwa to all my Muslim Brothers.
  
Bello Galadi, immediate- past Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Gusau Branch (covering Zamfara State) and President of Bello Galadi Foundation.
He can be reached on:
Muhammadbel_law@yahoo.com and muhammadbellaw80@gmail.com
 
14th April, 2021   
  
 
 

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RECONCILIATION: ZAMFARA FMR. FED. LAWMAKER MEETS COUNCIL CHAIR, APC STAKEHOLDERS

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A Zamfara federal house of representatives aspirant Abdulmalik Bungudu Zannan Bungudu has attended an interface with the Bungudu local government council chairman and other APC stakeholders aimed at strategizing ways to strengthen the ongoing reconciliation.

The meeting which was summoned by the Council Chairman Muhammad Maitutare emphasized on the need for the APC supporters from both side of the divide in Zamfara to accept the reconciliation in the spirit of unity and progress.

He said accepting the consensus candidate anointed by the Governor is the only answer to showing solidarity to the decision of the Governor.

The aspirant who was a former federal lawmaker Abdulmakik Zubairu thanked the council chairman and all the stakeholders for the support and assured them his commitment to ensuring that the party succeeded.

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GAMJIN GUSAU DR. DAUDA LAWAL, RINGING THE BELL OF THE OPPOSITION IN ZAMFARA POLITICS.

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By Campaign Committee

(Sponsored Article)

It was a moment of jubilation for the supporters of Dr. Dauda Lawal Gamjin Gusau one of the aspirants eying for the seat of the Governor of Zamfara state under the umbrella of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

He has conducted one of the best state of the earth rally with thousands of supporters across the divides driving with happiness to welcome him at Yankara, Zamfara state border town with Katsina.

His arrival to Zamfara on Sunday marked the beginning of a new dawn for the opposition People’s Democratic Party in Zamfara state, as the journey of 45-50 minutes took him over eight hours to finish.


He was stopped by thousands of supporters at the entry of every village and town along Zaria-Gusau highway to wish him well and prayed for God almighty to bless his gubernatorial candidature.

Dr. Dauda Lawal Dare who was looking visibly emotional and delighted with the mammoth crowd that came on the streets to welcome him said he is optimistic and confident that his gubernatorial candidature will surely triumph in 2023.


He expressed hope that the journey from 2023 will raise the hope of Zamfara people since his inspiration is to transform Zamfara state in the area of infrastructures, education, quality health care system, job creation, widening opportunities in small and medium enterprises as well as sustainable reforms beyond his period as Governor.

A young, agile Ibrahim Garba who trekked from Yankara to Gusau said he has high hope for the gubernatorial candidature of Dauda Lawal considering his track record while in the banking sector and his admiration to transforming humanity.


He said whenever he listened to perspective from Dauda Lawal he renewed his hope for the new Zamfara state because of his careful understanding of the governance crises rocking the state and his vision of how he want to create new opportunities for Zamfara state.

Another young woman Fatima who stood for hours at Gusau Hotel round about to welcome Dr. Dauda said many people she interacted with have raised new hope in the aspiration of Dauda Lawal which is ringing bell. She said the quality in everything done by Dr, Dauda will surely manifest in his administration if elected.

Another Youth Corp member Chineze Thomas said, he has heard about the competency of Dr. Dauda Lawal from many people who worked with him in the banking sector and the conclusion about him was that “he is the best for the Zamfara gubernatorial projects and prayed for God almighty to see him through the routes of success in 2023.

As for his chances in the PDP, Alh Tanuimu Garba a secondary school teacher in Tsafe said, with people like Dr. Dauda Lawal in the party, PDP has become a new hope for Zamfara people.

 

 

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TWELVE APC FED. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE ASPIRANTS GEAR UP FOR PARTY PRIMARIES IN ZAMFARA

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Twelve Zamfara aspirants contesting for the post of federal house of representative are gearing up for the APC primaries scheduled for Thursday the 26th of May 2021

Those who are likely to secure the ticket unopposed are Ahmad Usman Gummi for Gummi/Bukkuyum, Umar Sarkin Fada Zurmi/Shinkafi, Muhammad Ahmed Sani Bakura/Maradun and Isah Muhammad Anka for Anka and Bukkuyum Federal Constituency.

As for Maru/Bungudu, five aspirants are to contest the ticket on Thursday and they include Dr. Bashir Muhammad Maru, Abdulmalik Zubairu Zannan Bungudu, Sufiyanu Usman, Abdulrahaman Tumbido and Aliyu Sulaiman Dansadau.

As for Gusau and Tsafe federal constituency, Sanusi Garba Rikiji and Fatima Mu’azu are to contest the ticket at the level of party primaries.

All aspirants, especially those for Maru and Bungudu are gearing up and meeting with the delegates to canvass for votes ahead of the date scheduled for the party primaries.

None of the aspirants who contesting at the level of primaries from Gusau/Tsafe and Maru/Bungudu constituencies has so far step down from the race.

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