The rank of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the senate depleted Tuesday with the defection of 14 of its lawmakers to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The senators, in a joint letter to the senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki said they took the decision after due consultation “with our constituents and stakeholders in our constituencies.”
The letter reads: “Dear Senate President. After due consultation, with our constituents and stakeholders in our constituency, in proper recognition section 16 (1G) of the 1999 constitution, and for the fact of our party, The All Progressives Congress, we hereby inform the Senate.
They cited the crisis in the party as reason for their defection.
The defectors are senators: Dino Melaye (Kogi West), Barnabas Gemade (Benue), Ibrahim Danbaba (Sokoto), Shaaba Lafiaji (Kwara ), Mohammed Shitu (Jigawa), Rafiu Ibrahim (Kwara South), Suleiman Hunkuyi (Kaduna North), Isa Misau (Bauchi), Monsurat Sunmonu (Oyo Central), Soji Akanbi (Oyo South), Usman Nafada (Gombe), Musa Kwankwaso (Kano Central), Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi), Lanre Tejuosho (Ogun Central).
Saraki also hinted of his planned defection while replying to the plea of the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, that the defection should be put on hold.
“It’s a free world, people are free to exercise their right of association, even me I’m going to defect,” he said.
He was however silent about how soon he will defect from APC to another party.
With the defection, APC is now a minority in the senate. Senator Abdul’Aziz Nyako (Adamawa Central), had earlier defected from the party to African Democratic Congress (ADC).
Meanwhile, there was jubilation in the House of Representatives from the PDP legislators over the defection of some APC senators.
The members, led by the deputy minority leader, Mr. Chukwuka Onyema, sang anti-APC songs in the lobby of the National Assembly building.
The House which was yet to commence plenary for the day as of the time news of the defection broke hailed Dogara! Dogara! Dogara as the speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, arrived and made for the legislative chamber.