However, PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement on Monday, June 28, 2021 that no law allows Matawalle’s defection.
He argued that the governor would have to vacate his position if he defects, as the constitution only recognises a political party as owner of votes secured in an election, with the candidate as merely its agent.
“The PDP categorically cautions Bello Matawalle to know that his plans amount to a decision to vacate office,” Ologbodiyan said.
While the constitution explicitly states loss of seat as punishment for lawmakers that change parties, except in the event of specific circumstances, it is silent on other public office holders doing the same.
Matawalle’s loss to the APC is PDP’s third such loss of a governor since Dave Umahi of Ebonyi defected in November 2020, and Ben Ayade defected last month.
The PDP cautioned Zamfara lawmakers in the House of Assembly, and federal representatives in the National Assembly not to follow the governor to the APC as they’d lose their seats as directed by the constitution.
Even though the constitution stipulates that a lawmaker can change parties without losing their seat only if their party is in crisis or merges with another, changing parties for no good reason is hardly ever punished.
“There is no division in the PDP to warrant defection of any of our lawmakers,” Ologbondiyan warned.
The party’s national leadership also approved the dissolution of the Zamfara State Executive Committee, with many of its members in public office expected to defect soon.