Six members of the Kogi State House of Assembly elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party have defected to the All Progressives Congress.
The members, in a joint notification letter to the Speaker, Alhaji Umar Imam, cited “factional squabbles” in the PDP as being responsible for their action.
Imam, while reading the letter on the floor of the House on Thursday, named the defectors as John Abah, Adoke Bello, Kolawole Atthew, Ahmed Mohammed, Victor Omofaiye and Kekere Sani-Abdulkareem.
The legislators said they were forced to move to a more stable political group because the factional squabbles, both at the national and state levels, had torn the PDP into shreds.
The letter said: “The PDP has two National Chairmen: Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi- whose existence for over 10 months has left us uncomfortable, politically.
“In view of the unfortunate division and its negative implications, we have no option than to defect to the APC to be able to accomplish our missions of bringing government closer to our people.”
Reacting, Godwin Osiyi warned the defectors against moving away from their new political abode anytime it was faced with similar disagreements.
Osiyi advised that the defection should not be allowed to affect the peace and unity among members.
The Speaker, while congratulating the defectors for their decision, assured his colleagues that their action would not affect the unity in the House.
Imam said: “What is important is the peace and unity that we enjoy.
“The House remains one. We are all gentlemen and have to be focused toward what we can do in the remaining period.”
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the session, Friday Sani described the defection as a “child’s play” and claimed that the members did not follow due process as enshrined in section 109 of the constitution.
Sani said: “Votes belong to the party and not individual candidates; the defectors will lose their seats because we shall challenge their action in court.”
With the defection of the six members, the PDP, formerly the majority party in the House, has become the minority with nine members to APC’s 16 in the 25-member Assembly.
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