From Fred Itua, Abuja
Indications emerged, yesterday, that more senators elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), may defect in the coming days.
This is coming despite Wednesday’s intervention by APC’s National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, who pleaded with the lawmakers to halt further defections to the PDP.
Adamu, at the meeting with APC senate caucus had expressed worry over the wave of defections rocking the party in the National Assembly.
Multiple sources told Daily Sun that about 20 senators predominantly from the APC have concluded plans to defect to the PDP, New Nigeria Progressive Party (NNPP), and other opposition parties.
The current configuration of the Senate shows that the APC has 61 lawmakers; PDP, 38; NNPP, three;Young Progressives Party (YPP), two; Labour Party, one; while All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has one. There are three vacant seats, vacated by APC national chairman, Adamu and two other APC lawmakers.
Last week, Senate Leader and Kebbi Senator, Yahaya Abdullahi resigned his membership of the APC and defected to the PDP. His counterpart from the State, Adamu Aliero, also dumped the party for the PDP.
At plenary last Tuesday, three APC senators defected to the PDP. They are, Isa Kaita (Katsina North); Lawal Gumau (Bauchi South) and Francis Alimikhena (Edo North) citing internal crises within the local chapters of their party for the action.
A senator who spoke to Daily Sun in confidence said despite Adamu’s intervention, those aggrieved were unwilling to jettison their plans to defect to the PDP.
He said the lawmakers were miffed that during the recently-concluded primaries, the leadership of the party took sides with governors to deny them return tickets to the Senate.
He wondered why Adamu who didn’t intervene during the primaries, has suddenly woken up mounting pressure on unhappy senators to remain in the party.
The source said the fear was that the defections, especially by Northern senators, may affect the chances of the party in next year’s presidential elections.
“The APC is bleeding. APC lawmakers are defecting. These senators begged APC to be fair to them during the primaries. It didn’t listen; now, it is begging us to stay back. Stay back and do what exactly?
“If the party doesn’t stop this drift, APC will not win the presidential election in the North. PDP appears to have managed the aftermath of their primary better. So, the defections are minimal. But the APC didn’t do that
“Another problem is that, if APC loses its majority in the Senate to the opposition, there maybe a leadership change. It means the PDP may take over the leadership of the Senate. We must guide against this. For now, we just have to wait and see how the leadership of the APC will manage these crises. But it is not looking good at all. Too many people are angry and APC will be badly affected.”