Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio has called on Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, to prevent further defection of members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the National Assembly to other political parties.
Akpabio made this known in a statement issued by the state government after the Speaker paid him a courtesy visit in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital on Monday.
His statement comes on the heels of the defection of 37 members of the House of Representatives elected on the platform of PDP to the All Progressives Congress.
Pleading with Tambuwal to do all within his powers to convince the defectors to return to PDP, Akpabio, who is Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, said: “You must do everything humanly possible to avoid further defection of PDP members in the National Assembly. Even those that have defected, we want to implore you to do your best to convince them to come back because the umbrella is not torn. The umbrella can accommodate them and can still cover them very well”.
The governor lamented that the turnover rate in the legislative chambers was discouraging, saying it does not allow for continuity.
He said, “The turnover in the National Assembly does not allow for proper enactment of laws and it wipes out experience and this is of concern to the governors. I recall in 2007 when we came in, only 17 members who were there in 2003 made it back.
“We made strenuous efforts in 2011, but we ended up producing only 23 per cent and that is not good enough for our democracy. I am not saying people should stay for 40 years in the National Assembly, but we need experienced legislators so that the business of legislation would not have to be learnt in every session”.
Tambuwal, who had earlier hailed the achievements of Akpabio in the state, said that he was in Uyo to discuss issues of national interest with the governor.