APC, PDP Reps disagree over mass defections

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The All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party caucuses of the House of Representatives clashed again on Thursday over the gale of defections from the APC to the PDP.

The disagreement centred on how the defections would influence the outcome of the general elections in 2019.

While the APC lawmakers saw the defections as “house cleansing “ to reposition the party and particularly, President Muhammadu Buhari, for victory, the PDP caucus argued that the defections marked the beginning of the losses the ruling party would record in 2019.

The Chief Whip of the House, Mr Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, who summed up the views of the APC caucus, said the defectors had made Buhari’s victory easy, while they would also fail against the APC candidates in other elections.

Ado-Doguwa, who is also the North-West caucus leader of the House, claimed that the defectors “nailed their political coffins” by abandoning the APC to join the PDP, the latter having performed “very discreditably in governance before the APC sacked them in 2015.”

He also claimed that the ambition of some of the defectors to contest the Presidency against Buhari was “dead on arrival” because they did not possess the political clout to match the President.

Some key defectors in the past few days are the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatai Ahmed; and the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Bolaji Abdullahi.

However, a member of the PDP caucus, Mr Riman Shawulu, disagreed with Ado-Doguwa, saying the mass defections were an indication that all was not well with the APC.

He noted that the aggrieved APC members were moving to the PDP because they had seen that its reformed disposition offered a platform for them to express their democratic aspirations.

He boasted that the opposition party would surely win the presidential election and other elections in 2019.

Recall that in the House of Representatives, 37 APC members had defected from the party on Tuesday, last week.

Thirty-two of them went to the PDP, while four members moved to the African Democratic Congress. One of the members has yet to join a new party.

The mass movement still leaves the APC with the majority control of over 186 members to the PDP’s 162 lawmakers.

But, the PDP lawmakers told News men that more defections were certain to take place before September when the House would have reconvened from the current annual recess.