LAGOS, Nigeria (Rahnuma) : Nigeria’s Senate minority chief on Wednesday defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), two weeks after dozens of his fellow lawmakers and three governors quit the ruling party.
Godswill Akpabio was officially received into the APC in a coastal town of the West African country at a rally attended by thousands of his followers and key APC chieftains and government officials.
On Tuesday Akpabio resigned as the senate minority leader, ahead of his defection from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is in the minority in parliament.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is a man of integrity and a nationalist. The country is at war and all the hands must be on deck to salvage the situation and not to aggravate it,” Akpabio told the rally.
Until his defection Akpabio was a top gun of the PDP, a platform several of his colleagues recently defected to amid allegations that the APC has failed on his campaign promises.
The PDP, for its part, jeered that Akpabio was joining a “sinking ship” — a reference to recent defections from the ruling party even though analysts say the opposition party may also explode after its presidential primaries later this year.
Separately, Senate President Bukola Saraki called on Nigerian authorities to probe Tuesday’s blockade of parliament by hooded operatives of the secret service. He described the blockade as a blight on the country’s democracy and the rule of law.
Saraki also dismissed calls for his own resignation following his defection to the minority PDP, insisting only a two-thirds vote of the Senate can remove him from office.