There are indications that seventeen members Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senators will be decamping to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) during the course of the week.
This decision was made public on Sunday in Ilorin, Kwara State by Sen. Bukola Saraki, former governor of the state and chairman of the Senate committee on environment.
According to him: “We are going to formally defect. Before we started we were already 19. Then Jigawa pulled out, so from zero. 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 may be. It must be and not a matter of months or weeks but a matter of days,” he added.
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On the fear of losing their seats, he said he: “I want you to rule out the fear of losing our seats; this week we will write the Senate President of our decision to defect. The letter is ready, only that we don’t want to go solo; there are two other senators who are to go to their constituencies this weekend and finalise with their people.
“You know when it comes to the Senate the issue is more complicated and you have to handle it so; your constituency is larger than that of the Representatives and in politics there are many things you must consider.
“But I can tell you it is not a question of if, it is a matter of when and I can assure you it will happen. It is not a matter of months but of days. The letter is ready, I have signed my own and I can show you. We know that the majority of Senators understand issues beyond the case filed by the PDP.”
He ruled out the possibility of his group returning to the PDP, saying that their commitment to APC is total.”
He said that ‘forced’ resignation of Alhaji Bamaga Tukur as PDP chairman has vindicated his group, insisting that “there is no reason to go back to the PDP which has recently done what it should have done long ago with the resignation of Alhaji Bamangar Tukur”.
On the focus of the APC on the Rivers state crisis, Saraki said there is an understanding that while the incumbent Inspector General of Police has the experience and maturity to tackle the matter, it is evident that some other factors are working to hinder him hence the need for federal legislators and other stakeholders to intervene.
He added,”I have been governor for eight years and been chairman of Governors Forum. We know the power of the governor under the law. During the time we have had occasions to look at states where the governor and the CP cannot work together and in the interest of peace and political stability we recommended the redeployment of such officers. It is necessary because the law says the governor will oversee issues of security.”