After several weeks of speculations about his defection, Bukola Saraki, who became Senate President under the All Progressives Congress (APC) on June 9, 2015, announced his defection from it on July 31, 2018, just as he declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) same day as his new party.
The Senate President who defected exactly a week after 14 senators cross-carpeted from APC to the PDP, explained that he defected after extensive consultations and after efforts to ensure a harmonious existence in the APC proved futile. APC alleged that Saraki “encouraged and facilitated an enabling environment’’ for the defection of the 14 senators on July 24, 2018.
Among the reasons Saraki cited for leaving the APC were blatant disregard for the rules of party administration, his prosecution and persecution for alleged corruption, alienation, and the emergence of “fifth columnists in the APC who were hell bent on scuttling peace efforts initiated by some leaders of the party”.
On the other side, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Minority Leader of the Senate turned a full circle like twinkling star to denounce his membership of the PDP and pledged his allegiance with the APC last Wednesday August 7, 2018.
Senator Akpabio, the latest bride of the APC alleged that he dumped the PDP which gave him the platform to become a three-time Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State, a two-time Governor of the state, and a Senator, eventually rising to become the Senate Minority Leader because it lacked a “reward system”.
He said on Channels TV’s Politics today after decamping that those who toiled to build the party were not rewarded, but rather rewarding those who destroyed it and returned for selfish political reasons.
“The problem with my erstwhile party, the PDP, is that they didn’t have a reward system. For some of us who had stayed with the party, toiled with the party, built the party, there was no reward system at all,” Akpabio said on Channels TV’s Politics today.
“I can’t imagine people who destroyed the party in 2015 to come back to the party, then you roll out the drums, so much pomp and pageantry, and then you now celebrate them as heroes of democracy and not destroyers of the PDP.
“The most shocking thing is that one of them was named the National Leader of the party, when there’s a former President of the country in the party, in the person of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, when there’s a former Vice President of the country, in the person of Alhaji Atiku Abubaka, when there’s a former Vice President of the country, in the person of Alhaji Namadi Sambo.
“All these people are fit to become leaders of the party. The longest-serving Senate President, Senator David Mark, is also in that party, and he was not referred to as leader of the party.
“My colleague the Senate President who unfortunately was one of those who joined to destroy the PDP in 2015 just attended the NEC meeting and out of excitement the same National Chairman rolled out the drums and announced him National Leader of the party.
“Having been the Senate Minority Leader, and by implication the Chairman of the PDP caucus in the National Assembly, I thought there was no more room for me, since we now have a National Leader who has just defected. And PDP has had that kind of reputation in the past.”
While reacting to media report that his seat would be declared vacant for decamping when there is no division in the PDP, Akpabio who is now being rumoured as likely replacement for Saraki as the Senate President by the APC said ‘’Saraki is as guilty as others’’.
“As you are looking at me, do I look perturbed? I have not heard the report. Because the reason why I think that is a rumour is that there is, at the moment, no division in the APC. The APC is one family. If you hear about R-APC that was not really a political party, that was not a division and have even been consumed in what they call Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP). So, there is no division in APC as they are saying there is no division in PDP, and so, any defection from APC to PDP, should also attract the treatment of declaration of seats vacant “, Akpabio said.
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