It has been reported that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is worried stiff over a likely mass defection of some top members of the party due to the lingering crisis between the executive and legislative arms of the Federal Government controlled by the party.
A similar crisis which broke out in Jonathan’s regime led to the defection of the then Speaker of the House of Representatives and now Governor of Sokoto State, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, from the PDP to the APC. Five serving governors of the PDP then also followed. The defectors joined forces with members of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) to form the APC which defeated the PDP in last year’s presidential election.
Leaders of the party are therefore worried that if the Senate President, Bukola Saraki decides to confront the APC and move over to the PDP or any other upcoming party, he would not only tilt the Senate in favour of the PDP by the number of other APC Senators that might embark on the mass defection with him, he would also do a heavy damage with some governors and party leaders who are sympathetic to his cause.
The report revealed that there are already rumours of discussions ongoing between some disgruntled members of the APC and their PDP counterparts on either the formation of a new party or an alliance that would see a mass defection from the APC.
A member of the APC who spoke on condition of anonymity, blamed the ongoing crisis on interest and the executive’s interference in the affairs of the legislature, adding that the party was running out of time. He said:
“The leadership of the APC is worried that the lack of cohesion by the party’s elected members are still leaning on their old party blocs, which have practically made it impossible to see themselves as members of one family.
“You will recall that APC is a merger of various interests ahead of the 2015 elections, but having won the presidential election as well as the majority in both houses of the National Assembly, many had expected that the various interests would have closed ranks by now and work as team to deliver the promises the party made to Nigerians during the campaigns for the last elections.
“This development is a source of worry for the party leadership, although it is putting measures in place to resolve it so that the party can focus on governance and deliver on its promises. The fear is that we are running out of time, even as the nation’s earnings have drastically dropped due to the fall in oil prices at the international market.”
Saraki is at war with the executive arm of government on two fronts: First is the Code of Conduct Tribunal, where he is being accused of false declaration of assets during his tenure as Kwara state governor and second, is the alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Rules against the Senate president, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and two others.
Because both cases were instituted by the presidency, it is generally believed that the APC is hounding him because he defied the party’s leadership to emerge as President of the Senate.