By David Odama
A move by the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, to stop the defection of 15 senators from the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday flopped as the senator could not get the required support to sustain his argument, DAILY ASSET can report.
At plenary on Tuesday, following the reading of a letter of notification of defection from the 14 senators, by Senate President Bukola Saraki, Lawan moved a motion against the defection, on the ground that there was no basis for the defection.
He said the disagreement in the party, which the defectors had cited to justify their decision to dump the party, was not enough reason as the party was not factionalised in spite of those disagreements.
Lawan asked that an opportunity be given to leaders of the party to address the issue but his voice was drowned by voices of the defectors as well as senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and APC members in support of his position, leading to a rowdy session.
While admitting that the APC had its own internal challenges as well as internal disagreements among its members, he said there were efforts to resolve the issues, which according to him, do not translate to factionalisation, and requested the Senate President to step down the matter.
“I feel our senators of the APC stock will not have to move to another other party. I also believe that because the issues are under serious discussion by the major leaders and stakeholders of this party, I will ask Mr President that, that announcement be quarantined – contained; and give us leaders of the party an opportunity to use all avenues to address.,” Lawan emphasised.
Responding, said the point of explanation by the Senate Leader had been noted, but drew his attention to the vacant seat beside him (Lawan) which was as a result of the siege to the residence of the Deputy Senate President, Ekweremadu, which made it impossible for him to be at plenary.
“Your point of explanation is noted. I’m sure that you have seen the seat beside you is absent. As we speak now, the deputy senate president cannot get out of his house, he’s under siege.
“This is not something that has started today, it will not end today. People have gone and come back, but these kinds of actions do not allow for what you are speaking. You have been here for many years and as such – DSP – as we are speaking cannot come out of his house,” Saraki stated.
The Senate President said party membership was a personal decision and so, it was impossible for him to stop any lawmaker who felt he could no longer be a member of the APC.
“I don’t believe it should come to this level where people are kept under siege for something at the end of the day is personal to them. So it is noted,” he said, and went on to announce that another senator, Abdulazeez Nyako, from Adamawa State, had also indicated his decision to defect from the APC.