Buhari: it’s seasonal occurrence
Good riddance, says Oshiomhole
Democracy taking shape, says Wike
Atiku, Daniel hail defectors
Shaaba Lafiagi •Barnabas Gemade
Usman Nafada •Suleiman Nazif
All the above senators defected to the PDP
Abdul Azeez Nyako
All the above senators defected to the ADC
There are 109 senators. Of the lot, one, Joshua Dariye (Plateau Central) is in jail and two are dead. One seat is vacant
Fourteen senators defected yesterday from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the African Democratic Congress (ADC).
But the APC keeps its majority with 52 senators. The PDP has 50. There are 109 senators. Two are dead and one, Joshua Dariye is in jail for corruption.
The African Democratic Congress (ADC) has three, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has two seats.
In the House of Representatives, 37 members quit the ruling party. There are now 192 APC members. The PDP has 156 members and APGA five. The APC keeps its majority.
Irreconcilable political differences between the senators and their governors may have pushed the lawmakers to take the action.
But the APC said it was all a storm in a tea cup. National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole said the defection would not affect the party’s fortune in next year’s election.
President Muhammadu Buhari described it as “seasonal”.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, who was said to have sneaked into the National Assembly complex early yesterday, announced the defection of the senators.
Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West) and a former PDP National Chairman, Senator Barnabas Gemade, led a pack of defectors.
The defection was contained in a letter to the Saraki which he read at plenary.
Besides Melaye and Gemade (Benue North-East), others who defected to PDP are Abdullahi Ibrahim Danbaba (Sokoto South), Shaaba Lafiagi, (Kwara North) and Ubali Shittu, (Jigawa North-East).
Senators Rafiu Ibrahim (Kwara South), Suleiman Hunkuyi (Kaduna North), Isa Misau (Bauchi Central), Monsurat Sunmonu (Oyo Central)and Usman Nafada (Gombe North) were also listed as the defectors.
Senators Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano Central), Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi North), Olanrewaju Tejuosho (Ogun Central) and Abdulaziz Nyako (Adamawa Central) were also announced.
Senator Adesoji Rilwan Akanbi (Oyo south), who was also listed to have defected, dissociated himself from the group of defectors.
Akanbi told reporters after plenary that he never contemplated leaving the APC for another party.
He said attempts he made to correct the wrong listing of his name were not allowed on the floor of the Senate.
The letter of defection read: “Dear Senate President, after due consultation with our constituents and stakeholders in our constituencies, in proper recognition of Section 68(1G) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and with the fact that our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), is hereby enmeshed in factions;
“We hereby inform the Senate that we the undersigned are changing our political affiliation from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).