Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Thursrday cautioned the leadership of the House of Representatives to desist from actions that violate the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and could trigger a constitutional crisis in Edo State and the country at large.
The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiuan, said that the order by the House of Representatives asking the Police and the Department of State Services (DSS) to shut down the Edo State House of Assembly is completely unconstitutional, provocative and has no place in a democratic dispensation.
The PDP stated that no section of the 1999 Constitution confers the House of Representatives with the powers to issue orders to a state governor or direct the shutdown of a sitting State House of Assembly, adding that whether in language or action, such is only obtainable in a military system.
The party called on Nigerians to note that section 11 of the 1999 Constitution, upon which the House of Representatives anchored its decision, does not in any way empower the House of Representatives to shut down a functioning state legislature
“Our party cautions the federal legislature to note that such imperial stance against a legislative house; a symbol of the sovereignty of the people, is self-destruct and opens the fundamentals of our nation’s democracy to unwarranted attacks.
“This is particularly as there are already apprehensions across the country that this shutdown order is a prelude to an autocratic journey that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its dictatorial leadership intend to embark on to complete their round of total state capture.
“The PDP therefore counsels against any arm of government overreaching itself to take actions that undermine our constitution and encourage dictatorial tendencies against our institutions of democracy and the essentials of personal freedom and rights of citizens in our nation.
“Nevertheless, the PDP berates the APC leadership for its inability to manage its avarice and internal strife, which are playing out in Edo state to the extent that it is now dragging our nation into a constitutional crisis,” the party said.