President Muhammadu Buhari has on Tuesday reacted positively to the gale of defection that swept the ruling All Progressives Congress APC. He has wished them all the best in their political future endeavours.
The President in a statement through his spokesman, special adviser on media and Publicity Garba Shehu expressed confidence that the defections from the party will not affect the fortunes of the Party in the upcoming 2019 general election, describing it as a seasonal occurrence.
In the statement which was also shared on the president official twitter page, the President stated, “I wish all our party members who today defected, the very best in their future undertaking. The APC has done its best to stop the defection, and I must commend the party leadership for working tirelessly to unite the party and position it for the future. I am confident that no harm will be done by these defections, to its party and its aspirations. I urge party faithful not to despair, but to instead see this as something that happens in seasons like this, on the eve of elections”.
The president further noted that the defected party members did so because they realized that they could not secure a return ticket to the National Assembly due to the zoning arrangement being implemented by the party across the states. “…Some of the distinguished and honourable lawmakers have issues with their home states, especially on zoning which bars some of them from seeking another term in their constituencies”.
“Let me also note that none of the defected federal lawmakers has any specific grievances against me or the government I lead, neither do I have any ill feelings towards them.” The President stated.
The Party chairman Adams Oshiomhole has also admitted the fact that all necessary attempts were made to reconcile aggrieved members of the party. He expressed confidence that the defection will not affect the success of the party as the defected members do not have electoral value. According to him, “the thing going on is that you have a lot of so-called big masqueraders with very little and no electoral value”.
The defection has made the ruling party APC the minority party in senate house with50 members, while the PDP is now the majority with 55 members. The ADC and APGA have 1 member apiece.
The defection is seen in some quarters as a repeat of the political happenings under the former President Goodluck Jonathan, prior to the 2015 elections in which aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP led by a group of governors known as the G7 decamped from the party shortly after the Party’s National Convention.
Report by Victor Alagogooko for IbadanCity ANNOUNCER