No fewer than 20 All Progressives Congress (APC) senators have concluded plans to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party, Labour Party, New Nigeria Peoples Party and others, leaving their majority control under threat.
Having earlier lost 13 senators to the opposition parties, it is understood that APC might lose more parliamentarians aggrieved for losing their return tickets to the National Assembly during the party primaries.
It was gathered that the party leaders were worried that if the rate of defections continued and the opposition PDP gained more members, the ruling party might lose its majority status in the Senate.
During Wednesday’s plenary, Senator Dauda Jika representing Bauchi Central, announced his defection to the NNPP, bringing the number of APC senators to 67.
The five minority parties in the upper chamber currently have 43 senators with the PDP boasting 39 senators, while the Young Peoples Party, All Progressives Grand Alliance, Labour Party and the New Nigeria People’s Party have four senators.
To try and put a halt to the gale of defections, the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, met with the APC senators behind closed doors at the National Assembly complex, Abuja, some minutes past 2 pm on Wednesday
Adamu, who first went to the office of the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, for a brief meeting before the general meeting, said that the party was worried by the wave of the defections among the APC senators.
Speaking to journalists after his meeting with the APC caucus, he noted that it was a usual occurrence during the election period but it was enough for any leader to worry over the loss of any member.
He stated, “The meeting with the senators was most fruitful. The issue of defection is an unfortunate development when it happens but this is a season where there are all sorts of behaviour in the political space and ours is not an exception.
“In every election year, this kind of thing gives cause for stakeholders to sneeze and Nigeria is not an exception so is the APC, not an exception. I don’t care about what is happening in other parties, my focus is on the APC. But we all know that the occurrence is not only happening in the APC, it’s happening across other political parties too. And because we are the ruling party, our problems are exaggerated before the public.”
Adamu also said he did not know if the problem of defection would persist in the party but he had met with his colleagues at the National Assembly and he believed the issue was surmountable.
He added, “There is no responsible leader that would not be worried when he loses one member not to talk of two. At the moment we are faced with the stark reality of our problems. I have committed my colleagues at the National Assembly to face the problem squarely and see the problem as solvable. We are in politics, I don’t know what would happen tomorrow, and nobody does.”
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