A total of fifteen senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have dumped the party and defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a letter to the President of the Senate, signed by 14 senators, they indicated their intention to leave the ruling APC for the opposition PDP.
Senate President, @bukolasaraki announces defection of Senators: @lanretejuoso, Shaaba Lafiagi, @BI_Gemade, @dino_melaye, Ubali Shittu, @rafiuibrahim, @SenIsahMisau, Suleiman Hunkuyi, @MonsuratSpeaks, Abdullahi Danbaba, Bayero Nafada, Suleiman Nazif, @RMKwankwaso…
— The Nigerian Senate (@NGRSenate) July 24, 2018
The senators who have so far defected are: Rabui Musa Kwankwaso, Barnabas Gemade, Dino Melaye, Isa Hamman Misau, Lanre Tajouso, Shaaba Lafiagi, Mohammed Shittu and Ubali Shittu.
Others senators are: Rafui Ibrahim, Suleiman Hunkuyi, Monsurat Sunmonu, Ibrahim Danbaba, Usman Nafada and Suleiman Nazif.
Shortly after reading the letter, Saraki also announced that Sen. Murtala Nyako has also indicated his intention to leave the APC, bringing the total number of defectors to 15.
With this number of new senators in the PDP, the party now holds the majority seats in the upper legislative chamber.
The PDP now have 63 senators in the upper chamber while ruling APC have 44. APGA is the only other party with one senator.
The APC is expected to lose more seats with the senate president expected to announce his exit from the party sooner than later.
Speaking after the defection, Saraki who expressed displeasure at the siege on his residence and those of other lawmakers, said that it was uncalled for.
“People have the freedom of association. I have been sitting down here and more than 15 senators have decamped or defected to one party or the other. There was no siege on their residence,” he said.