BY SONI DANIEl, Regional Editor, North
In a spirited move to halt mass defection to the All Progressives Congress, APC, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Presidency have dangled automatic tickets in respect of the 2015 election to its members in the National Assembly, NASS.
But the automatic tickets are to go to only first-timers in NASS and opposition lawmakers willing to dump their parties, particularly the APC, for the ruling PDP.
Vanguard learnt that the ruling party had raised a strong lobby team with a view to convincing many APC lawmakers to cross over to the PDP and reduce the influence of the opposition in NASS and brighten its chances of winning the next election convincingly.
Under the arrangement, said to have been adopted by the leadership of the party after a series of meetings among PDP NASS leadership, the Presidency and the National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, a strong lobby group had been raised to railroad willing APC members to defect to the ruling party in the days ahead.
Findings by Vanguard revealed that the presidential lobby team is spearheaded by a pro-Jonathan lawmaker from Abia State, who is also being pencilled down as the next governor of the state.
The brief of the team, according to findings, included talking to as many APC lawmakers, who are unsure of securing their party tickets for the next election, to cross over to the ruling party and be given an automatic ticket for the poll.
According to a well-placed source, the potential defectors from the APC to the PDP are to be given adequate security and campaign funding by the government to ensure that they win the election and add to the fortunes of the ruling party.
The lobby group is said to have recorded some achievements resulting in the recent defections of APC members from Benue, Adamawa and Nasarawa states to the PDP.