By JACOB KUBEKA, Abuja
Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has suffered a major upset as 15 of its Senators on Tuesday, defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with barely six months to the next general elections in the country.
The defection of the 15 lawmakers announced by the President of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki during the day’s plenary session.
Prominent among the defecting APC are Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano central), Barnabas Gemade (Benue North-East) and Dino Melaye (Kogi west).
They also include Abdullahi Danbaba (Sokoto), Shaaba Lafiagi (Kwara), Isa Misau (Bauchi), Suleiman Nazif; Baki Shittu (Jigawa), Monsurat Sunmmonu (Oyo) and Bayero Nafada (Gombe).
Also on the list are: Senato Olanrewaju Tejuoso (Ogun), Senator Hunkuyi (Kaduna), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Senator Shitu Ubali.
According to the 14 federal lawmakers, who conveyed their decision in a joint letter addressed to the Senate President, their action was based on the fact that the APC was being fictionalized. In the face of the fictionalization, the Senators said they could no longer continue to pursue their political careers under the ruling party.
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 that we the undersigned;
We hereby inform you that we are changing our political affiliation from APC to PDP. We thank you for your exemplary leadership.
The Senate President, in a follow-up announcement, told his colleagues that Senator Abdulazaz Nyako, had also made known his defection from the APC.