Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki

Youths from Ohaozara, Onicha, and Ivo federal constituency in Ebonyi South senatorial zone, weekend, called on Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to declare the seat of their representative, Sen. Sonni Ogbuoji, vacant for defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ogbuoji, who is the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), a platform which he wants to contest the 2019 governorship election in the state.

The position of the youths was contained in a communiqué issued after its General Assembly meeting, in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, which was signed by its National President, Raymond Okoro and 23 other members of the executives.

The group said the senator did not fulfill the conditions as required by the amended 1999 Nigeria’s constitution before defecting to the APC.

This was even as they vowed that if the senate leadership fails to declare the seat of Ebonyi south zone vacant, they would institute legal action to achieve their aim; insisting however that the mandate being held by the lawmaker belongs to their people.

The statement read in part, “We call on the National Assembly leadership to declare the seat of Ebonyi south Senatorial zone in the senate vacant.

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“Our Senator flagrantly displayed his non-challant attitude, disregard and disrespect for the constituency that gave him the majority of votes that accorded him the privilege of having the mandate on the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

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“When he decamped to APC, he never consulted his constituents and did not follow the required condition as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria before defecting to the APC.

“The constitution stipulates that you can only defect from one party to another, only when your party is in crisis or there is a faction in your party, which makes it impossible for you to function effectively in your party and to the best of our knowledge, there is no faction in PDP.

“If the senate leadership fails to declare the seat of Ebonyi south zone vacant, we will have no option than to seek judicial interpretation of constitutional provision for defection and clarification of the mandates being held by National Assembly members”, the communiqué partly read.

The youths, however, passed vote of confidence in Governor David Umahi for his developmental strides even as they endorsed him for second tenure.