President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has read a letter from 13 members of the All Progressives’ senators declaring their defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
A total of fifteen senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have dumped the party and defected to the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
In a letter to the President of the Senate, signed by 14 senators, they indicated their intention to leave the ruling APC for the opposition PDP.
The lawmakers include Rabi’u Kwankwaso (Kano-Central), Dino Melaye (Kogi-West), Adesoji Akanbi (Oyo-South), Monsurat Sunmonu (Oyo-Central), Rafiu Ibrahim (Kwara-South), Suleiman Hunkuyi (Kaduna-North), and Lanre Tejuoso (Ogun-Central).
Others are Usman Nafada (Gombe), Ibrahim Dambaba (Sokoto), Mohammed Shittu (Jigawa) Isa Misau (Bauchi) Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi) Shaaba Lafiagi (Kwara) and Barnabas Gemade (Benue).
Also, Senator Abdul-Azeez Murtala-Nyako (Adamawa) who had earlier dumped the APC for the African Democratic Congress, also formalised his defection.
The letter reads thus:
“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 our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is hereby emerging 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).
“We thank you for your exemplary leadership.”
Shortly after reading the letter, Saraki also announced that Sen. Murtala Nyako has also indicated his intention to leave the APC, bringing the total number of defectors to 15.
With this number of new senators in the PDP, the party now holds the majority seats in the upper legislative chamber.
PDP now has 58 senators, APC 48 senators, APGA 1, while there are 2 vaccant seat left by the two late senators: Ali Wakili and Mustapha Bukar.
Speaking after the defection, Saraki who expressed displeasure at the siege on his residence and those of other lawmakers, said that it was uncalled for.
“People have the freedom of association. I have been sitting down here and more than 15 senators have decamped or defected to one party or the other. There was no siege on their residence,” he said.