Not less than 15 Senators from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), have defected to the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), after weeks of speculations.
The announcement of the defection of the Senators was made by the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, during plenary on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
The 15 defectors cited that the APC was being factionalized, hence, they would not continue to pursue their political careers under the ruling party.
However, the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawal opposed the defection, saying the action of the affected lawmakers should be quarantined while the letter written by the defected lawmakers should be stood down but the Senators reportedly shouted him down as the defectors were widely welcomed by their colleagues in the PDP.
Some of the Senators who defected were Dino Melaye, Barnabas Gemade, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Lanre Tejuoso, Suleiman Hunkuyi, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Abdullahi Danbaba, Mohammed Isa Haman and Nafada Usman Bayero, Barnabas Gemade, Shitu Ubali, Isa Misau, Suleiman Nazif, among others.
The defection came on a day the houses of the President of the Senate, and the Deputy President of the Senate, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, were invaded by operatives of the Department of State Services, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Nigeria Police.
The Senate Twitter handle also confirmed the defection of the Senators with this tweet:
Senate President, @bukolasaraki announces defection of Senators: @lanretejuoso, Shaaba Lafiagi, @BI_Gemade, @dino_melaye, Ubali Shittu, @rafiuibrahim, @SenIsahMisau, Suleiman Hunkuyi, @MonsuratSpeaks, Abdullahi Danbaba, Bayero Nafada, Suleiman Nazif, @RMKwankwaso…
— The Nigerian Senate (@NGRSenate) July 24, 2018