President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his total commitment to the values of democracy, freedom of choice as well as total willingness to work with all members of the National Assembly, irrespective of their political party, for the benefit of the nation.
In his reaction to the developments Tuesday morning at the National Assembly, the President, in a statement by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu noted that none of the defecting federal lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had any specific grievances against him or the government he leads; neither did he harbour anything against any of them.
“As the saying goes, all politics is local. We understand that some of the distinguished and honourable lawmakers have issues with their home states, especially on zoning which bars some of them from seeking another term in their constituencies,” he said.
Noting that the APC had done its utmost to stop the defections, the President commended the leadership of the party for relentlessly working for its unity and ensuring success in the upcoming elections.
President Buhari assured members of the APC of his total support and urged party faithful not to despair but to see the defections as a seasonal occurrence that happens on election eve.
He expressed confidence that no harm or injury will be done to the party and its aspirations by the movements.
President Buhari wished all the decamped members the best in their future undertakings.
Meanwhile, according to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the All Progressives Congress (APC) has told its members and supporters not to be flustered by the loss of some elected representatives and senators to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
In a statement by Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, its National Publicity Secretary on Tuesday in Abuja, the party said it would continue to consolidate on its majority status both in the House of Representatives and 25 states, ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Abdullahi said the Buhari administration would continue to work harder to deliver on its campaign promises to Nigerians.
“The APC notes the development in the National Assembly with the defection of some of our members from the party.
“In the last couple of weeks our party leaders have worked to stave off this situation as responsible party leaders would do.
“It would appear however, that the individuals involved have different considerations beyond the grievances that they were willing to discuss and which our leaders were willing to address,”it said.
The APC said as a truly democratic party, it respects the right of every citizen to political association.
It therefore, urged its members to remain calm as it continues to work hard to position the party strongly for the next general elections.
The statement added that the APC remains in firm control of 25 states of the 36 states of the federation and maintains a clear majority in the Federal House of Representatives and State Assemblies.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Senate President Bukola Saraki earlier today, announced the defection of 15 APC Senators from the party. In the House of Representatives, 33 APC members also switched allegiance to PDP, while 4 left for the ADP.
Senate President Saraki is believed to be part of the senators already in PDP.