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Defectors against govs, not Buhari, says Presidency

Defectors against govs, not Buhari, says Presidency

The Presidency on Thursday said those who dumped the All Progressives Congress were not against Buhari but some governors and the APC leaders in their respective states.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja.

He said, “These senators by virtue of their procedure have not yet fully and effectually defected but have expressed intention to defect by the procedure.

“There is a lot of room left for conciliation and reconciliation. Again, of all the grievances expressed by the distinguished senators and honourable members, none is attributed or directed to President Muhammadu Buhari or his action or inaction, commission or omission of the President or the Federal Government.”

He said his interaction with the National Assembly members showed that they were fully in support of Buhari and his re-election in 2019.

“Consequent actions (of the lawmakers) were not directed at President Buhari or his re-election bid but domestic actors in their constituencies such as the governors and state party leaders; or frustration over zoning or calculations for a return ticket or platform for the 2019 elections.”

On the Wednesday night meeting between Buhari and the APC senators, the presidential liaison officer noted that some of the lawmakers who had announced their defection to other parties or intended to defect had returned to the APC.

At the meeting, it was learnt that Buhari urged the APC Caucus in the Senate to maintain its majority status.

One of the lawmakers at the meeting, who spoke to one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, said Buhari expressed disappointment over the defections on Tuesday.

He said, “The President appreciated the APC members at the National Assembly who have chosen to remain with the party. The numbers (majority and minority) are getting close. With a difference of less than 10, anything can happen. The ADC and APGA are also gaining numbers. The more lawmakers for the APC, the better. He asked us to reach out to our people and woo them. He wants us to maintain National Assembly leadership for the APC, that is the summary. He wants us to woo more of our former members back to the fold.”

More lawmakers will dump APC – Defectors

But two of the 14 lawmakers who dumped the APC on Tuesday, senators Abdullahi Danbaba (Sokoto) and Isa Misau (Bauchi), have said more APC members are bound to dump the ruling party.

Dambaba and Misau condemned Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa) over a comment credited to him in which he alleged that the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, “merely collated the list of senators he feels are not happy with the party (APC) and announced them as defectors.”

The lawmakers said Adamu was only “spewing forth lies unbecoming of an elder,” urging him to stop spreading fake news.

Dambaba and Misau, in a statement jointly signed by them and issued on Thursday, stated that the concerned defectors were individual political leaders in their different constituencies and were present on the floor when their names were read out from a letter signed by all of them.

They said, “How possible is it for somebody to just announce the change of party on behalf of a senator without the legislator concerned giving his consent. We can assure him that more senators are preparing to leave the sinking ship of APC and Senator Abdullahi Adamu will have more fabrications to do.”

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