The Nigeria Senate President Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday blocked an effort made by Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan to cease All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators from dumping the party.
Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West) and a former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Senator Barnabas Gemade, led the defectors.
Others are Senators Abdullahi Ibrahim Danbaba (Sokoto South), Shaaba Lafiagi (Kwara North), Ubali Shittu (Jigawa North-East), Rafiu Ibrahim (Kwara South), Suleiman Hunkuyi (Kaduna North), Isa Misau (Bauchi Central), Monsurat Sunmonu (Oyo Central).
Senators Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano Central), Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi North), Olanrewaju Tejuosho (Ogun Central) Usman Nafada (Gombe North) and Abdulaziz Nyako (Adamawa Central) were also among.
Their defection was contained in a letter Saraki read at plenary.
It read: “Dear Senate President, after due consultation with our constituents and stakeholders in our constituencies, in correct recognition of Section 68(1G) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and with the truth that our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), is hereby enmeshed in factions.
“We hereby inform the Senate that we the undersigned are changing our political affiliation from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“We thank you for your exemplary leadership.”
In a swift response, Lawan raised an observation and was allowed to talk.
The lawmaker insisted that the defection was pointless, noting that “The APC, our party, definitely has its own internal challenges.
“However Mr. President, as a political party, everyone knows how much effort by so many stakeholders to handle the problems that bedevil this party.
“The disagreements don’t translate into factionalisation. ‘I therefore really feel that our senators of the APC stock should not have to move to some other party.
“I additionally believe that as a result of the problems are beneath critical discussions by major stakeholders of this party, I’ll urge that the announcement be quarantined and contained and deal with the problems.
“Very seriously, this matter must be stepped down till we exhaust all of the alternatives.”
Overruling Lawan, Saraki replied: “As and have seen, the seat beside you is vacant. As we converse, the Deputy Senate President can’t get out of his home.
“He’s beneath siege. This morning, I couldn’t also leave my street as properly, all being efforts by some those that imagine that at the moment’s sitting should not maintain as a result of some members need to move or defect.
“It isn’t one thing that began today; it won’t finish today; folks have gone, they’ve come again.
“This sort of motion doesn’t permit for what you might be saying. You might be talking as the leader of the Senate, who has been right here for a few years.”
Meanwhile, Lawan had said that the APC nonetheless had majority seats within the Senate.
He spoke to journalists after a close-door meeting with the APC National Working Committee (NWC) led by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole at the Party’s National Secretariat on Tuesday evening.
He mentioned: “Regardless that we now have misplaced a few of our colleagues to the PDP and other parties, the APC nonetheless retains the position of No. 1 party with extra seats. Presently we (APC) have 53 Senators, PDP has 49, African Democratic Congress (ADC) has 3, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has 2 and we now have 2 vacancies.
“We lost our colleagues in Kaduna and Bauchi State; these had been APC seats, very secure seats indeed. In August bye-elections shall be held and by the Grace of God, the APC will reclaim the seats and the majority of the APC will enhance.”
Lawan additionally offered a list the place he read the names of the 52 senators he claimed to be in APC.
They include; Adamu Aliero (Kebbi), Abdullahi Gumel (Jigawa), Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi), Bala Ibn Na’Allah (Kebbi), Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto), Sabo Mohammed (Jigawa), Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto), Ahmed Yerima (Zamfara), Kabir Marafa (Zamfara), Tijjani Kaura(Zamfara), Abu Ibrahim (Katsina), Umar Kurfi (Katsina), Abu Kyari (Borno), Kabir Gaya (Kano), Barau Jibrin (Kano), Shehu Sani (Kaduna), Ahmed Lawan(Yobe), Bukar Abba Ibrahim (Yobe), Ali Ndume (Borno), Baba Kaka Garbai (Borno).
Others are; Andrew Uchendu (Rivers), Sabi Abdullahi (Niger), David Umar (Niger), Mustapha Muhammed (Niger), Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa), George Akume (Benue), Joshua Dariye (Plateau), Nelson Effiong (Akwa Ibom), Francis Alimikhena (Edo), Magnus Abe (Rivers), Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta), John Enoh (Cross River), Andy Uba (Anambra), Sonni Ogbuoji (Ebonyi), Hope Uzodinma (Imo), Ben Uwajimogu (Imo), Danjuma Goje (Gombe), Binta Masi Garba (Adamawa), Ahmed Abubakar (Adamawa), Yusuf A. Yusuf (Taraba).
Additionally talked about are; Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos), Gbenga Ashafa (Lagos), Gbolahan Dada (Ogun), Solomon Adeola (Lagos), Tayo Alasoadura (Ondo), Soji Akanbi (Oyo), Ajayi Boroffice (Ondo), Yele Omogunwa (Ondo), Fatimat Raji-Rasaki (Ekiti), Abdulfatai Buhari (Oyo), Babajide Omoworare (Osun), Sola Adeyeye (Osun).