APC Lures PDP Legislators With Automatic Tickets
As the race for the 2015 general election draws nearer, the yet-to-be-registered All Progressives Congress (APC) has commenced an intensive campaign to lure legislators elected on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to defect en masse to the opposition party.
This bid to pull the rug under the feet of the ruling party we gathered is to enable the opposition party gain more seats in the National Assembly ahead of the 2015 crucial polls, which will in turn translate to their constituencies embracing the All Progressives Congress when it is finally registered.
At present, the ruling party in the House of Representatives, where the intensive lobbying is taking place has 204 members, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has 68, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has 40 while All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has 27.
The other parties, namely Accord has 5, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) – 7, Labour Party (LP) – 8 and Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) has only one member.
It is uncertain if APC has turned its attention to the Senate, but its current configuration is made up of PDP – 75, ACN – 18, ANPP – 8, CPC – 4, APGA – 1, LP – 2, and DPP – 1.
According to reliable source, the intensive campaign of the opposition APC is to have the members of the House of Representatives under the platform of the PDP defect to the APC with the guarantee of a return ticket back to their seats.
This is similar to the calculations of the opposition in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) where it has been speculated that a number of PDP governors may leave the PDP to join the APC to facilitate the conversion of their states.
It was also gathered that the recruitment drive has also been extended to some smaller opposition parties.
According to one of the lawmaker being lured into the APC, but wants to remain anonymous, the PDP in the Green Chamber, had become an endangered specie with the incursion daily of the opposition into its territory.
“The ruling party may become easy prey because of the apparent “abandonment” of the PDP lawmakers by the leadership of the ruling party over the last two years.”
“The opposition is waxing stronger every day. They’ve been wooing our colleagues with free tickets to contest the next elections. What they tell you is that if you join them, your return ticket is secured; you will not need to worry yourself about spending money to run primaries and later, the main elections.
“But some of us are skeptical about the whole thing. I am not comfortable with such promises because we are all politicians and we know that any thing could happen.
“We know that there are many people in the queue wanting to come to the National Assembly, even among those already in the opposition.
“There is also the fear that the characters piloting this so-called opposition could be very funny. We know that in terms of internal democracy they are no better than the PDP and so anybody crossing over would be doing so at his or her own risk,” the lawmaker said.
The House of Reps, though comprised largely of members from the ruling party has visibly being opposed to the presidency and the party leaders.
On June 6, 2011, some legislators elected on the platform of the PDP had teamed up with the opposition to elect Hon. Aminu Tambuwal as Speaker and Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as Deputy Speaker against the zoning arrangement of their party.
The election of Tambuwal and Ihedioha was not well recived by the party and since then, there have been a cold relationship between House and the leadership of the party.
Since then, the “rejected” leadership has found succour in the hands of the opposition as there has been no deliberate effort by the PDP to groom a strong caucus in the parliament to maximise the advantages of its numerical strength.
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