President Muhammadu Buhari has met behind closed doors with the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The agenda of the meeting was not made public but it was converged few hours after news broke that security operatives laid siege on the residences of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu,
The meeting also came a day after the police high command again invited Saraki for questioning over the April 5, Offa banks robbery incident.
The police had asked Saraki to report at its headquarters in Abuja, 8am on Tuesday but his failure to honour the invitation allegedly forced the police to issue a statement threatening to use all legal means to get him.
Idris however did not speak with State House correspondents after the meeting with Buhari. The Presidency has yet to issue a statement on the meeting at the time of filing this report. It is however believed that Idris would have seized the opportunity of the meeting to brief the President on the developments.
Similarly, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, also met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday.
Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, the former Edo State governor said he is happy that some members of the Senate and House of Representatives left the ruling party for opposition parties, stating that those who left are “mercenaries” who were in APC just to win election.
Recall that no fewer than 15 senators and 36 members of the House of Representatives left the APC on Tuesday with majority joining the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“The governing party is not disturbed at all and we are not losing sleep over the defections,” Oshiomhole said.
The party chairman stated further that it was cheering that those who never believed in the APC are leaving ahead as the development would enable the party concentrate on its campaigns.
He said the defection cannot affect the electoral fortune of the ruling party because President Buhari got more votes than the defectors in their own constituencies in the 2015 election.
He described the defectors as right wing politicians who believe in the philosophy of “share the money” and not the progressives group.
He said even while they were in the APC, they constituted themselves as opposition to the ruling party.
… President meets APC Senators
President Muhammadu Buhari, last night, held a meeting with senators elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Although details of the meeting is not yet disclosed, the meeting is coming barely 24hours after the lawmaker’s defection hit the APC caucus in the two chambers of the National Assembly.
14 senators and 37 members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday announced their defection from the ruling APC, to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
…APC consoles members, insists it has majority in 25 states
Following the defection of some lawmakers from the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party has told its members and supporters not to be dejected by the loss of the elected representatives and senators to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, on Tuesday in Abuja, the APC said it would continue to consolidate on its majority status both in the House of Representatives and 25 states, ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Abdullahi said the Buhari administration would continue to work harder to deliver on its campaign promises to Nigerians.
“The APC notes the development in the National Assembly with the defection of some of our members from the party.
“In the last couple of weeks, our party leaders have worked to stave off this situation as responsible party leaders would do.
“It would appear however, that the individuals involved have different considerations beyond the grievances that they were willing to discuss and which our leaders were willing to address,” he said.
The APC said as a truly democratic party, it respects the right of every citizen to political association.
It therefore, urged its members to remain calm as it continues to work hard to position the party strongly for the next general elections.
The statement added that the APC remains in firm control of 25 of the 36 states of the federation and maintains a clear majority in the Federal House of Representatives and state Assemblies.
The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki had earlier on Tuesday announced the defection of 15 APC Senators from the party while in the House of Representatives, 33 APC members also switched allegiance to PDP and another four left for the African Democratic Congress (ADC).
….33 House of Reps members defect to PDP
Thirty-seven members of the House of Representatives have dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) and moved to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC).
The Representatives in a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara officially announced their defection during Tuesday plenary.
Top on the list of the defectors is the Chairman Committee on Rules and Business Rep. Emmanuel Orker-Jev (Benue), with 33 joining the PDP while four others from Oyo State moved to the ADC.
Other prominent members who dumped the APC include: Sani Rano, Barry Mpigi, Ali Madaki, Dickson Tackighir, Hassan Saleh, Danburam Nuhu, Mark Gbilah, Razak Atunwa, Ahmed Garba Bichi, Abdulsamad Dasuk and Zakari Mohammed.
This is coming after 15 senators in the Senate dumped the APC for PDP.
The defection in the House of Representatives threw the chamber into a rowdy session as the remaining members of the APC in the House staged a walkout from plenary to address newsmen.
…another batch of lawmakers ‘will soon dump’ APC – Atunwa
A member of the House of Representatives, Abdulrazak Atunwa, one of the 37 who defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC), has said more lawmakers will leave the party.
Atunwa, who moved to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said the defection was just the first batch of members that would leave the APC.
He said the public should expect more as many members had indicated interest to defect from the party.
Atunwa said the APC was a party they all laboured for as people came from various parties, campaigned and formed a government in 2015.
“We came together because of what was being proposed to the people of Nigeria as we believed in change and a better Nigeria,” he said.
“Sadly, no sooner we formed government in May 2015, the party put itself on course to be derailed and that derailment has continued till today.
“Some of us have been agitating that we should go back to the ideals that brought us together, but the party was not listening.
“The party rather embarked on victimisation and criminalisation of its members, perceived as opponents and have divergent views.”
He said the party set itself on the line of destruction when the aggrieved members brought up their concerns but were castigated and referred to as “inconsequential and nobody”.
“Putting all that together and the interest of the country, particularly as the APC has derailed from the ideals that will propel Nigeria to advance, we felt we have to take this step we took today,” he said.
Atunwa said the defectors were interested in economic development, respect for parliament and rule of law, while the APC was concerned about membership to form majority.
He said the PDP, in the past three years, had learnt its lesson.
The lawmaker said they had monitored and had seen that the PDP had taken corrective measures.
He said having been beaten at the polls in 2015, the PDP had got its act together and was now a reformed party, adding that it was the reason they felt confident to return to the party.
…how Senate Leader failed to stop mass defection
There was mild drama in the Senate on Tuesday as the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, tried to stop the mass defection of some lawmakers from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
It was reported how 15 senators left the ruling party, with majority announcing they were joining the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which is the main opposition party.
They said they made the decision to decamp after due consultation with their constituents and stakeholders.
Shortly after the letter of the first 14 lawmakers was read by the Senate President, Lawan stood up to oppose the defection.
According to him, disagreement in the APC does not translate to factionalisation of the party, which is the basis upon which a lawmaker could abandon his party.
The chamber was then thrown into a rowdy session as the newly defected lawmakers disagreed with Lawan’s statement and tried to stop him from talking.
However, the Senate Leader continued afterwards, saying it is true that the APC has its own internal challenges and members have internal disagreements.
He, however, demanded that the announcement of defections be suspended so as to allow leaders of the party address the issue.
“We all know how much efforts is being made by many stakeholders to address the issues that bedevil this party and disagreements do not translate to factionalisation.
“I feel our senators of the APC should step down their move to another party. I also believe that because the issues are under serious discussion by the major leaders and stakeholders of this party, I will ask Mr President that, that announcement be quarantined – contained; and give us leaders of the party, an opportunity to use all avenues to address them.
“Mr President, very seriously speaking, this matter should be stepped down until we exhaust…
In his response, Saraki made reference to the absence of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, at plenary due to the siege laid by security operatives at his Abuja residence.
“Your point of explanation is noted. I’m sure that you have seen the seat beside you is absent. As we speak now, the deputy Senate President cannot get out of his house, he’s under siege,” he said, saying he escaped a similar experience.
“This is not something that just started today, it will not end today. People have gone and come back, but these kind of actions do not allow for what you are speaking. You have been here for many years and as such – DSP – as we are speaking cannot come out of his house,” he said.
He thereafter announced that another senator, Abdulazeez Nyako, added his name to the list of defectors.
Saraki said he noted the Senate leader’s stance, but could not prevent lawmakers from leaving the APC.
“I don’t believe it should come to this level where people are kept under siege for something at the end of the day is personal to them. So it is noted,” he added.
…Gov Ortom announces defection from APC
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday, announced his defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The governor made the announcement at a meeting with elected local government chairmen and councillors at the Government House, Makurdi, hours after protesting youths barred him from travelling to Abuja to attend the APC reconciliation meeting. The announcement brings to an end months of speculation that the governor will return to the PDP as a result of his disagreement with leaders of the party in Benue and at the national level.
His defection follows major political decisions in the state over the last three weeks.
The governor recently sacked over 80 per cent of his cabinet members and, on Tuesday the Benue House of Assembly impeached its Speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange.
… PDP welcomes Ortom
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has reacted to Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom’s resignation from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his decision to join PDP.
Ortom, yesterday announced his resignation from the APC adding in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Tever Akase that he has now joined the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
While reacting, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Twitter welcomed Governor Ortom to the party.
Ologbondiyan wrote, “Welcome back home your excellency, Gov Ortom #RescueNigeria”
…what Senators, Reps’ defection has done to Buhari, APC – PDP
The spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday
disclosed that the defection of lawmakers from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has failed.
Speaking on the development, the PDP’s spokesperson said, “We are very happy with their defection because it signposts the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has failed woefully, and Nigerians have become disenchanted with the government.
“The representatives of Nigerians are demonstrating the anger and the disappointment of Nigerians with their government. That is what led to the defection that we are witnessing.
“What happened on the floor of the Senate, as well as the floor of the House of Representatives, is a clear indication of the rejection of APC and the President Muhammadu Buhari by Nigerians.”
…I wished all the decamped members the best in future undertakings – PMB
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his total commitment to the values of democracy, freedom of choice as well as willingness to work with all members of the National Assembly, irrespective of their party affiliations.
Reacting to the Tuesday morning developments at the National Assembly where lawmakers from his party defected to the opposition parties, Buhari noted that none of the defecting federal lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had any specific grievances against him or the government he leads adding that neither did he harbour anything against any of them.
The President stated further that the defection will not affect the APC’s electoral chances.
“As the saying goes, all politics is local. We understand that some of the distinguished and honourable lawmakers have issues with their home states, especially on zoning, which bars some of them from seeking another term in their constituencies,” he said. He noted that the APC had done its utmost to stop the defections. The President however commended the leadership of the party for relentlessly working for its unity and ensuring success in the upcoming elections.
President Buhari assured members of the APC of his total support and urged party faithful “not to despair but to see the defections as a seasonal occurrence that happens on elections eve.”
…I remain in APC, senator included among defectors says
The senator representing Oyo South senatorial district, Soji Akanbi, has debunked claims that he defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Akanbi, while addressing journalists shortly after plenary on Tuesday said he remains “a bona fide member of the APC”.
Earlier at plenary, Akanbi was mentioned among the 14 senators, who indicated their intention of switching allegiance from the APC to the PDP.
Akanbi said his name was wrongly included in the list.
“Initially today, my name was wrongly mentioned in the list of the people that defected to PDP. A point of order was raised. I was able to clear my name that I’ve never been part of defection from APC to PDP. I remain bona fide member of APC.”
He showed journalists the votes and proceedings of the day to confirm his name is not on the list.
“This is the votes and proceedings of Tuesday, 24 July, 2018 and my name is not listed on the list of defectors. I remain a bona fide, committed, unrepentant member of APC. I’m here to put the record to order.”
He added that his name might have been added to the list of defectors because of the crisis in Oyo APC.
“There is this rumour or speculation when you have ambition, declared or undeclared ambition that you are having crisis in your state with your governor. So, they assumed that having crisis with your governor, automatically (means) you ’ll leave the party. “I am using this medium to say once again that in Oyo State, I don’t have crisis with my governor,” he added.
…I defected to ADC not APC – Sen Monsurat Sunmonu clarifies
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu, who represents Oyo Central senatorial district has made clarifications on the news of her defection.
According to her, she has defected from APC to the African Democratic Congress (ADC). Senate President Bukola Saraki had earlier in the day announced her name as part of the APC senators defecting to PDP.