- There was serious face off on Thursday, August 2, in the House of Representatives between members of the APC and the PDP
- The clash was triggered by the massives defection of key members of the ruling party to the opposition and the influence it will have on the outcome of the 2019 general polls
- However, some members of the APC believed the move was necessary for the repositioning of its status and the running of its affairs, while PDP supporters were certain that this is the beginning of victory for the opposition
Caucuses of the the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives clashed on Thursday, August 2, over the wind of defections from the ruling party to the opposition.
The rift stemmed from the uncertainty about what influence the defections would have on the forthcoming general elections in 2019, Punch reports.
While members of the House belonging to the APC believe that the defections meant “house cleansing “ working for the reposition of the party and particularly, President Muhammadu Buhari, for victory, the PDP caucus insisted that the developments marked the beginning of the losses for the the ruling party.
Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, the chief whip of the House, who summed up the views of the APC caucus, said that the defectors had made president's victory easy, while they would also fail against the APC candidates in other elections.
Ado-Doguwa, who is also the North-West caucus leader of the House, said that the defectors “nailed their political coffins” by abandoning the APC to join the PDP, the latter having performed “very discreditably in governance before the APC sacked them in 2015.”
He also claimed that the ambition of some of the defectors to contest the presidency against the president was “dead on arrival” since they did not possess the political mettle to contest against him in election.
Majors defectors who left the party recently include the Senate president, Bukola Saraki; Sokoto state Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; Kwara state Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed; and the national publicity secretary of the APC, Bolaji Abdullahi.
Responding to Ado-Doguwa, a member of the PDP caucus, Riman Shawulu, said he disagreed with his comments, saying that the mass defections were an indication that things were not right in the APC.
Shawulu said that the aggrieved APC members were moving to the PDP because they had seen that its reformed disposition offered a platform for them to express their democratic aspirations.
He boasted that the opposition party would surely win the presidential election and other elections in 2019.
Earlier, in the House of Representatives, 37 APC members had defected from the party on Tuesday, last week. Thirty-two of them went to the PDP, while four members moved to the African Democratic Congress (ADC).
The mass movement still leaves the APC with the majority control of over 186 members to the PDP’s 162 lawmakers.
Some PDP member said that more defections were sure to take place before September 2018 when the House would have reconvened from the current annual recess.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that a member of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the PDP, Bode George, had described the recent defection of some members of the National Assembly from the APC to his party as very good.
The PDP chieftain also said political parties in the country lack ideological differences. He made the statement on Sunday, July 29.
"For me, if you look at the Nigerian politics, all political parties don’t have ideological differences - where you say far-right, far-left or centre-right, centre-left - we don’t have that,” the PDP chieftain said.
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