Aggrieved PDP senators set to join APC

Some Peoples Democratic Party’s senators are set to dump the ruling party for the opposition All Progressives Congress as soon as the senate resumes in January.

A source told Punch in Abuja on Monday that the number of PDP senators, who have concluded their defection plan, was “enough to alter the configuration of the upper chamber.”

The senators are said to be aggrieved over what they described as the shoddy handling of their party affairs by its elected officials and they are set to join their 37 colleagues in the House of Representatives who defected from the PDP to the APC last week.

One of the senators confirmed in Abuja on Monday that their movement to the APC had become fait accompli.
The senator, who craved anonymity, said, “The country should be restructured on the foundation of truth. That is our position. We will soon join the APC like our governors and our colleagues in the House of Representatives. This will happen in January by God’s grace.

“We are in court already and the court has fixed January 22 for hearing. Already INEC had said it lacked the powers to declare our seats vacant. So we are on course.”
A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, had last week restrained the leaderships of the PDP, the National Assembly and the INEC, from declaring vacant, the seats of federal lawmakers because of defection to another party.

The injunction specifically affected the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur; Senate President David Mark; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal; and the INEC.

The order by Justice A.R. Mohammed was sequel to a motion filed by 79 lawmakers in the National Assembly, made up of 22 senators and 57 members of the House of Representatives.

The lawmakers, among others, sought an order of the court restraining the defendants from declaring their seats vacant.

The 22 senators named as plaintiffs were, Bukola Saraki (Kwara Central), Bello Gwarzo (Kano North), Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West), Senator Magnus Abe (River South-east), Wilson Ake (Rivers West), Senator Shaba Lafiagi (Kwara North), Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central) ,Aisha Alhassan (Taraba North), and Ali Ndume (Borno South).

Others were, Ahmed Zannah (Borno Central) Simeon Ajibola (Kwara South), Bindowo Jubrilla (Adamawa North), Abdulaziz Usman (Jigawa North-east), Danladi Sankara (Jigawa North-west), Abdulmumuni Hassan (Jigawa South-west), Hassan Barata (Adamawa South), Umaru Dahiru (Sokoto South), and Ahmad Maccido (Sokoto North).

The rest were Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto East), Garba Mohammed (Kano Central), Isa Galaudu (Kebbi North) and Ahmed Alkali (Gombe North).

To date, no PDP senator has formally declared membership of the APC unlike their 37 House of Representatives’ colleagues who defected to the APC last week.

And while the PDP has lost majority membership in the House to the APC, the ruling party still controls the majority in the senate with 73 PDP senators against 33 for the APC. Labour Party also has three while the All Progressives Grand Alliance has only one senator.

Credit: Sunday Aborisade/Punch