20180722

"We Don't Want To Lose Saraki, Dogara, Others" - APC ready to meet their demands

The All Progressives Congress has offered its aggrieved National Assembly members automatic tickets in their constituencies in a last-ditch effort to stop the impending defection of the lawmakers from the party.

This offer, among others, has become necessary to scuttle the planned mass defection of the legislators, which has been slated for the floor of the National Assembly this week.

Investigations by The Punch showed that aggrieved APC senators and members of the House of Reps were determined to formally announce their defection before the National Assembly goes on its eight-week recess on Thursday.

It was gathered that the lawmakers would like to take a final decision on their continued membership of the APC this week to be sure of the platform on which they would contest the 2019 elections.

Primaries of most of the political parties will hold between August and September, a period the National Assembly may still be on vacation.

It was learnt that the only thing that could prevent the defection of the lawmakers was the ongoing negotiation between the APC and the leadership of the Reformed APC.

It was also gathered that the aggrieved lawmakers in the R-APC would hold a make-or-break meeting with their leaders on Tuesday where a final decision on the planned defection would be taken.

A senator, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of identification, said the proposed mass defection from the APC at the National Assembly was scheduled for the last day of the session to manage the tension that would likely follow the announcement.

He said what could stop the mass defection on Thursday was the automatic ticket the APC was offering the lawmakers. The lawmakers, it was gathered, had insisted that the APC must put the offer in writing.

Asked to confirm the Thursday declaration of the defection, the senator said, “It is true. It is most likely on Thursday, but I can assure you that if the APC gives Saraki and the rest of us letters (on automatic tickets), that is all (about the planned defection).”