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The ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) is now a minority party in the Nigerian Senate as 15 Senators today announce their defection to opposition parties.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki after making the announcement this morning adjourned the sitting till September 2018 when the Senate will resume from recess. The Senators who have announced their defection to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are:
Dino Melaye – Kogi West
Barnabas Gemade – Benue North-East
Ibrahim Danbaba – Sokoto South
Shaaba Lafiagi – Kwara North
Mohammed Shitu – Jigawa North-East
Rafiu Ibrahim – Kwara South
Suleiman Hunkuyi – Kaduna North
Isah Misau – Bauchi Central
Soji Akanbi – Oyo South
Usman Nafada – Gombe North
Rabiu Kwankwaso – Kano-Central
Suleiman Nazif – Bauchi North
Lanre Tejuosho – Ogun Central
Monsurat Sunmonu – Oyo Central
Abdulaziz Nyako – Adamawa Central
This morning, officers of the Nigerian Police Force(NPF) and Department of State Security(DSS) laid siege in front of residences of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu allegedly in a bid to prevent them from making it to Nigeria’s National Assembly complex.
According to Sahara Reporters, the Senate President was able to make it to the Senate house and take charge of plenary after driving himself into the National Assembly complex in a private vehicle. With this move, the PDP now has a majority of senators in the upper chambers. Missing on the list of Senators who have dumped the ruling APC is Senator Shehu Sani who has been critical of the manner in which the APC was run.
This new development will have huge ramifications for Nigeria’s politics towards next year’s presidential elections in Nigeria. With the main opposition party PDP now having the majority of Nigeria’s senate, moves to impeach Nigeria’s president Buhari reemerge after the Senate resumes in September. Alternately, this mass defection would also be a boost for PDP towards next year’s presidential election.
Nigeria’s senate president Bukola Saraki would have to defect to PDP too, especially because they are now the majority party in the Senate, or he would be replaced as Senate president.