Thirty-seven members formerly of the New PDP yesterday defied the threat of losing their seats and made good their promise to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
With this development, the APC is now in the majority by one man, standing at 172 against the PDP’s 171. The APC, however, needs 181 members to take over the leadership of the House from the PDP.
The mood of the lawmakers as they converged on the chamber for the day’s plenary session gave signs that something unusual was about to take place.
After the preliminary announcements, the speaker, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, announced that he had received a letter from 37 of his colleagues who wanted to communicate their defection to the House.
Dated December 18, 2013, the letter, which was titled Communication of Change of Political Party and addressed to the speaker, explained that their action was based on the crisis in the PDP and in line with the provision of section 68(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution.
The letter read, “We the under listed members of the House of Representatives elected under the platform (sic) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), wish to inform you that we have joined the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“This action is as a result of the division/faction in the political party that sponsored our election into the House of Representatives. (See House Resolution No. HR/36/2013, vide votes and proceedings of Tuesday, 17 September, 2013 as attached).
“Furthermore, we write to inform you that following this division, the faction of the PDP, which we belong to, has formally merged with the All Progressives Congress, APC.
“This communication is made pursuant to section 68 (1) (g) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, for your information, guidance and records please.”
With this development, it is expected that changes will soon be made in the leadership structure of the House. Pending any further defection by members of the leadership, Speaker Tambuwal, Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, House Leader Mulikat Akande-Adeola, Chief Whip Mohammed Bawa, Deputy Leader Leo Ogor and Deputy Whip Muktar may move over to minority positions.