The fast approaching 2019 general elections have put Nigerian politicians on their toes, running helter-skelter, ‘consulting widely’, and negotiating with various political parties to know which will suit their political interests best.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has been hit with mass defections which saw strong politicians such Senate president Bukola Saraki, Governors Abdulfatah Ahmed, Samuel Ortom, Aminu Tambuwal and others switch allegiance to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Nevertheless, the mass movement is not one-sided as the PDP has also been affected. Some key politicians in the opposition party have also left the party.
While some of the PDP defectors went to the ruling party, others chose to continue their political sojourn in other parties.
In this report, NAIJ.com lists notable politicians who have discarded the umbrella and pitched their tent with the broom wielders and other political platforms.
1. (Former) Kwara state PDP chairman
The chairman of the PDP) in Kwara state, Iyiola Oyedepo, insisted he can never work with Senate president Bukola Saraki and announced his defection to APC on Wednesday, August 1.
2. Alhaji Fatai Akinbade (former SSG Osun state)
Alhaji Fatai Akinbade who served as secretary to the state government during the administration of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola has also left the PDP.
Akinbade who participated in the PDP governorship primary election and came third in the exercise dumped the party on Wednesday, July 25. He has not, however, announced the party he is defecting to.
3. House of Rep member, Tony Nwulu (Lagos)
After “irreconcilable conflicts in the party,” Nwulu announced his defection to the UPP on Tuesday, July 24, shortly after the plenary session.
4. Edem Duke (former PDP chieftain in Cross River state)
Duke was the minister for tourism and culture under the Goodluck Jonathan administration. He left PDP for the ruling APC.
5. Segun Adewunmi (former deputy speaker of Ekiti state House of Assembly)
Segun Adewunmi said goodbye to the PDP and embraced the APC shortly before the July 14 governorship election in the state.
6. Senator Fatimat Raji Rasaki (representing Ekiti Central senatorial district)
Senator Rasaki also defected to the APC shortly before the July 14 governorship election in the state.
7. Prince Dayo Adeyeye (former minister of state for works)
Prince Adeyeye also defected to the APC.
8. Afolabi Ojuawo (former secretary to Ekiti state government)
Ojuawo defected alongside Prince Adeyeye and others to the APC
9. Sunday Akinniyi (Chief Whip of Ekiti state House of Assembly)
Honourable Akinniyi (Ikere Constituency 2) also abandoned the PDP for APC, alleging that the PDP is in crisis.
10. Ademola Bello (immediate past special adviser on political matters to Governor Ayodele Fayose)
Ademola Bello also defected to the APC.
11. Olamide Oni (House of Representatives member representing Efon/Ijero/Ekiti West Federal Constituency
Olamide Oni equally defected to the ruling APC.
12. Owoseni Ajayi (ex-commissioner for justice and attorney-general under Fayose administration)
About five weeks to the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti state, Ajayi announced his defection to the APC, ending his 20-year relationship with Governor Fayose.
13. John Mamman (former PDP chieftain in Nasarawa state)
A chieftain of the PDP and a retired permanent secretary in Nasarawa state, John Mamman and his supporters recently defected to the APC in the state.
In an earlier report by NAIJ.com, President Buhari expressed his total commitment to the values of democracy, freedom of choice as well as total willingness to work with all members of the National Assembly, irrespective of their political party, for the benefit of the nation.
The president’s statement was in response to the mass defection of some APC lawmakers to the opposition PD) on Tuesday, July 24.
President Buhari in his reaction noted that none of the defecting federal lawmakers had any specific grievances against him or the government he leads; neither did he harbour anything against any of them.
He described defections as a seasonal occurrence that happens on election eve.
Nigeria News: Will Senators, Lawmakers’ Defection from APC Change Power in 2019? | NAIJ.com TV