Barring any change, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may be hit by mass defection, in the next four months.
SOURCE gathered that some APC governors, senators and members of the House of Representatives, dissatisfied with events in the ruling political party, have cut a deal with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with a view to joining the opposition political party.
This is coming at a time the PDP has declared that its platform was open to all Nigerians to actualise their dreams of contesting elections.
But reacting, National Publicity of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, told Daily Sun that the party won’t want to react to such information when no name of any governor or chieftain was mentioned.
“I cannot react based on speculations,” the APC spokesman said.
However, competent sources among those who attended the PDP’s recent National Working Committee (NWC) meeting in Asaba, Delta State capital, revealed that top APC members, who will defect may join the PDP latest by May.
Eleven PDP governors and other executives of the party were at the Asaba meeting. The governors were Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Henry Dickson (Bayelsa), Benedict Ayade (Cross River), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta State), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo (Gombe), Nyesom Wike (Rivers) and Darius Ishaku (Taraba).
Others were PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and other party executives.
One of the sources, who said part of the PDP NWC meeting centred on how the defecting APC members would be received, said some of the elected APC governors and senator were among those that left the party in 2014 before the 2015 general elections.
He said Nigerians would be shocked by the calibre of APC members that would dump the party for the PDP.
Although he refused to mention names of those involved, he hinted that they were from the North West and North Central geopolitical zones.
“By the time the governors move, Nigerians will be surprised. Some APC governors are already disenchanted with the party and its leadership. Before the Asaba meeting, PDP leadership had opened talks with them and the talks have been fruitful, we were told.
“The crux of the NWC meeting was how to fine-tune modalities on how to receive those joining PDP and how they will be integrated.”
The source said the defection that would happen in the National Assembly would be so huge that the configuration would change.
According to him, what happened in the National Assembly when Sokoto State governor as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, spearheaded the defection of PDP lawmakers to APC may repeat itself.
“By the time federal lawmakers move to the PDP, I can tell you that the PDP will constitute the majority. They are joining us in preparation for the 2019 general elections,” he said.
Part of the reason some of the federal lawmakers were angry with the APC and the Federal Government, it was gathered, is the Presidency’s handling of the nomination of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
Daily Sun gathered that some of the senators said the Presidency has shown disdain for the Senate in the Magu issue and, therefore, senators feel insulted.
However, there are strong indications that presidential aspirants defecting from the APC to the PDP may not find it easy displacing other PDP presidential aspirants. Already, the list of those aspiring to run on the platform of the party has increased.
Apart from former Jigawa governor, Sule Lamido, former Kano State governor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau and Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, all of whom have formally declared their intention, there are four others who are making consultations, but are yet to make their intention public.
They are former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, former Senate president, David Mark, Gombe State governor, Ibrahim DanKwambo and immediate past National Caretaker Committee chairman and former Kaduna State governor, Ahmed Makarfi.
For now, apart from Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso is another APC chieftain that is also eying the PDP’s ticket.
“In fact, Kwankwaso would have returned to the party long ago. But he wants assurance from the party that he would get the presidential ticket. However, nobody will give that kind of assurance. What we want to do is give everyone a level playing field to compete,” a high ranking member of the PDP disclosed.
On Tambuwal, a member of the PDP’s Board of Trustees (BoT) told Daily Sun in confidence that all eyes were on him, largely because of his age advantage.