A total of 37 House of Representatives members decamped from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) during plenary on Tuesday.
Thirty-three of them defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while four members from Oyo State joined the Africa Democratic Congress (ADC).
Among the defectors are Sani Rano, Barry Mpigi, Ali Madaki, Dickson Tackighir, Hassan Saleh, Danburam Nuhu, Mark Gbilah, Razak Atunwa, Ahmed Garba Bichi, Abdulsamad Dasuk and Zakari Mohammed.
The APC defectors are mainly from Benue, Sokoto, Kwara and Kano, among others.
While announcing their defection on Tuesday during plenary, the lawmakers cited division at all levels of the APC as the reason for their defection.
The defection came after 15 senators from the senate announced their defection from the APC, with 13 moving to the PDP and two to ADC.
With the defection, APC now has 188 members and PDP, 161.
Meanwhile, the APC urged its members not to panic in spite of the defection of some of its national assembly lawmakers’ defection to the other opposition parties.
“We urge our members to remain calm as we continue to work hard to position our party strongly for the next general elections,” said spokesman for the party, Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi.
Abdullahi said the APC was still in control, therefore, members should not fidget over the development in the senate and House of Representative.
“APC remains in firm control of 25 states of the 36 states of the federation and maintains a clear majority in the federal House of Representatives and state assemblies.
“It would appear however that the individuals involved have different considerations beyond the grievances that they were willing to discuss and which our leaders were willing to address,” he stressed.
Also, the national chairman of the party, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, said he was not bothered by the defection
He described the members who left as “mercenaries” and people who constituted themselves as opposition to the party.