No fewer than 17 senators of the Peoples Democratic Party will this week defect to the All Progressives Congress, Chairman, Senate Committee on Ecology and Environment, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has said.
In an interview with journalists in Ilorin on Sunday, Saraki said the concerned senators had already consulted with their senatorial districts.
This move is in spite of the overtures made to them and the reconciliatory efforts of the PDP and its new Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu.
“We are going to formally defect. Before we started we were already 19 senators. Then Jigawa pulled out. We have about 17 senators that will defect from PDP to APC. The letter has been signed.
“I have signed my own. Others have signed theirs. So, it is not a matter of probability or that it will be. It must be and not a matter of months or weeks but a matter of days,” he said.
Saraki, who ruled Kwara State for eight years, said he had gone with the election- winning machinery to the APC. He added that the APC would win both the presidential and governorship elections in the state.
Decrying the crisis in Rivers State, he alleged that there were lots of impunity in the state.
He said he supported the directives of the APC leadership to the party’s federal lawmakers to block the passage of the 2014 budget, confirmation of ministerial nominees and service chiefs.
He added that he supported other democratic and lawful measures to restore peace and stability to the troubled Rivers State.
He denounced the acrimony between the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, and the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu.
He noted that Mbu should surbordinate himself to Amaechi, the Chief Security Officer of Rivers State or be redeployed.
According to him, the Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed, is capable of handling the matter, having experienced even more serious situation in Kwara State where he once served as the CP.
Meanwhile, a former Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Essien Nduese, has said that the PDP legislators who defected to APC, were just exercising their freedom of movement and association.
He said by defecting to another political party, the legislators were not doing something wrong. According to him, defection in a political situation is a normal process.
Nduese, who spoke on the nation’s political situation in Eket on Friday, said that all the defected members were free to return to their former political party, if they so wished.
“Defectors have their freedom of movement and of association. So, they are free to join any party of their choice. It is a normal political process. There is nothing wrong with a legislator defecting to another political party,” he said.
Nduese, who was also a member of the House of Representatives, representing Eket Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State, said the new PDP Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, might run into trouble if he wanted to take the party back to the objectives of the founding fathers.
He said there was no situation in which the national chairman of the PDP would come in and fail to run into problems as “there are some groups or persons within the party who want things done in their own way, and not according to the party’s rules.”
He said, “Whoever tries to work against such people will run into problems. Like I mentioned earlier, there has been a shift from normal rule that was operating in this country before 1999.
“If you look at it very well, in 1999, there was some semblance of democratic governance. As time goes on, we are dwindling into anarchy, impunity, and so on.
“So, any attempt to reverse this trend is bound to generate another level of crisis. That was what happened to the other national chairmen of the PDP.”
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