The crisis rocking the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) came to the fore on Wednesday as 37 members of the House of Representatives elected on the platform of the ruling party formally defected to the major opposition party, the All Progressives Congress.
With the move, the APC now has 172 members as against the PDP’s 167. The remaining 21 seats are shared between the Labour Party (LP) with 10, Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP) with one, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) with five and Accord Party (AP) four.
It however, remains to be seen if the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal will toe the party line by declaring the lawmakers’ seats vacant.
The members in their letter to Tambuwal which was read during a plenary session yesterday, cited “division and factions” in the PDP as their reason for moving en bloc to the APC.
The defecting lawmakers are believed to be from the five states whose governors recently left the PDP to join the APC.
Among the defectors are the Chairman, House Committee on Publicity, Mr. Zakari Mohammed (Kwara) and Dakuku Peterside (Rivers State).
They said their action was in line with Section 68(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
It would be recalled that Governors Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) had earlier defected to the APC after months of open confrontation against the Bamanga Tukur-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP and verbal wars with the presidency.