- Two PDP House of Representatives lawmakers have defected to the APC
- Femi Gbajabiamila read their letters at the plenary on Wednesday, October 7
- The speaker described their defection to the APC as a welcome development
The number of the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers at the House of Representatives increased on Wednesday, October 7, as two members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defected to the ruling party.
Legit.ng reports that the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the plenary, read separate letters from Ephraim Nwuzi, who is representing Etche/Omuma federal constituency in Rivers state, and David Abel representing Gashaka/Kurmi/Sardauna federal constituency in Taraba state, announcing their defections.
Reacting to the lawmakers' defection, the deputy minority leader, Toby Okechukwu; the minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu; and leader of the PDP caucus, Kingsley Chinda, separately raised constitutional points of order.
They asked Gbajabiamila to declare their seats vacant as there were no crises in the PDP in the defectors’ respective states.
“The member whose letter has just be read is from Rivers state and I am aware that there is no crisis in the PDP in Rivers state. As a result of that, we are demanding that the seat be declared vacant.”
In his reaction, Okechukwu said:
“This country is based on law and due process. It is clear that our colleagues who wrote to defect are simply quoting the charisma of the speaker.
“The law says there must be a crack in the party on whose platform the member was elected and in the absence of that, such a member should lose his seat. The Speaker must obey the constitution and ask those defecting to vacate their seat.”
Gbajabiamila, however, described leaders of the opposition as hypocrites, recalling that as minority leader in the previous Assemblies he also protested against defections to the PDP but his arguments were dismissed.
He noted that the PDP failed to lay the foundation of sanctioning illegal defections while in power, adding that, “Like you used to tell me, your points are noted. Any more defections?”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that a chieftain of the ruling APC, Sampson Parker, in Rivers state, resigned his membership of the party.
It was reported that Parker, who served as Rivers health commissioner under former governor Rotimi Amaechi who is now the minister of transport, dumped APC over alleged irreconcilable differences.
The former commissioner has since pitched his tents with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with his defection strengthening Governor Nyesom Wike's camp.
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