BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU & JOSEPH ERUNKE
ABUJA — SEVENTEEN Peoples Democratic Party, PDP senators are to defect to the All Progressives Congress, APC, within days after resumption tomorrow, Senator Bindowo Jibrilla, one of the senators defecting, has said.
His assertion was, however, countered by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who in an interview said the PDP was bent on defending its majority in the Senate and winning back what it lost in the House of Representatives.
Senator Jibrilla, PDP, Adamawa North, who disclosed the defection plans in a BBC Hausa Service interview at the weekend, said the defecting senators will communicate their plans through separate letters to the Senate President, David Mark, shortly after resumption from recess tomorrow.
The 17 senators are among the 22 others who had indicated their interest to join the APC before the Christmas and New Year break began.
He said he had already led the way by joining APC, saying he would announce it immediately after Senate resumption, after which others will follow.
He said: “To be candid, we are 17 senators that will dump PDP to APC in the Senate very soon. This is a serious matter and not a joke, making me to lead the way by joining the APC already.”
He defended their planned action, saying the crisis that engulfed the PDP, leading to its factionalisation called for it.
Senator Jibrilla boasted that the PDP would suffer for the maltreatment it gave to the governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, and other governors that defected from the party in December last year.
He said: “The same thing that forced our governors out is what will force us, the affected federal lawmakers out of the party. In the case of Adamawa, the elderly man (Governor Nyako) brought three senators and six House of Representatives to PDP as one of its leading lights but was maltreated and forced out”
Although, he did not give names of the 16 other defecting senators, Vanguard gathered that the affected senators are Bukola Saraki and Shaaba Lafiagi from Kwara State, Magnus Abe and Wilson Ake from Rivers State, and Basheer Mohammed and Hayatu Gwarzo from Kano State.
Others are Umar Abubakar Tutare and Aisha Jummai Alhassan from Taraba State, Senator Danjuma Goje from Gombe central, Adamu Abdullahi from Nasarawa West and the entire three PDP senators from Sokoto state.
Senator Ekweremadu, however, deferred saying that the PDP was determined to fight back the attack on it and restore its majority in the House of Representatives.
“We have seen some of these movements before, we are not worried. In the Senate, for instance, I’m not expecting that anybody will leave PDP in the Senate; it is unlikely. Senate is well coordinated and we are strongly behind PDP in the Senate.”