The ruling party Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday regained its majority in the House of Reps after losing it to the All Progressive Congress, APC, following mass defections from the PDP earlier this year.
On Tuesday, Ladan Bichi (Kano), Abdulsalam Adamu (Kano), Sani Galadinma (Zamfara), Ibrahim Gusau (Zamfara) and Umar Bature (Sokoto) said they were decamping from the APC to PDP; while Isa Ashiru, who represents Kaduna State, decamped from the PDP to APC.
The PDP now leads the House with between 178 and 179 members, while the APC drops to between 167 and 168 members. Official figures of the 360-member House are yet to be announced. Other parties with fewer members in the House include the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA; Labour Party, LP; and Accord Party.
This is the latest but may not be the final development in the current defection situation in Nigeria, as more lawmakers are rumored to defect to protect their interests as the 2015 General elections draw closer.
The APC has reacted to this development saying that the PDP has used public funds to lure back some of the federal lawmakers who defected from the ruling party to the opposition.
The The All Progressives Congress, APC, condemned the alleged action by the ruling party, terming it “political horse trading carried too far.”
In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said the PDP, in a show of desperation, rolled out an enticement package that promised $2 million (N328 million) to each Senator who returns to the PDP; $1 million (N164 million) to a member of the House of Representatives, and $10 million (N1.64 billion) to a “leader” who abandons the APC for PDP. It claimed that the price tag for the federal legislators from Rivers State was even higher – $5 million (N821 million) each.
The APC, however, said no amount of inducement would stop the change on the horizon ‘as the long-suffering people of Nigeria were ready and eager to vote out the PDP next year.’