President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed the reason behind the mass defection of lawmakers from All Progressive Congress (APC) to other parties, notably the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
On Tuesday, about 37 lawmakers defected from the APC following a dramatic morning in which the residence of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki was besieged by Security agents.
Fifteen All progressives Congress (APC) senators defected to the PDP on Tuesday morning, followed by another 37 — comprising 33 who went to the PDP and four who joined the ADC.
Responding in a message released via his social media accounts, Buhari said the party did its best to retain its members, but their exit would do “no harm or injury to the APC and its aspirations”.
He also revealed that some of the lawmakers knew that they wouldn’t be able to seek reelection due to the zoning rule and so they had to leave.
“I wish all of our party members who today defected, the very best in their future undertakings. The APC has done its best to stop the defections, and I must commend the party leadership for working tirelessly to unite the party and position it for future victory,” he said.
“I am confident that no harm or injury will be done by these defections, to the APC and its aspirations. I urge party faithful to not despair, but to instead see this as something that happens in seasons like this, on the eve of elections.
“As the saying goes, all politics is local. We understand that some of the Distinguished and Honourable lawmakers have issues in/with their home states, especially on zoning which bars some of them from seeking another term in their constituencies.
“Let me also note that none of the defecting federal lawmakers has any specific grievances against me or the government I lead; neither do I harbour any ill-feeling towards any of them. I fully respect their freedom to choose what party to associate with.
“I am using this opportunity to restate my total commitment to the values of democracy, as well as my total willingness to work with ALL members of the National Assembly, irrespective of their political party, for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.”