The threat by about 22 aggrieved senators of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to defect to All Progressives Congress, APC, will not make the ruling party revert to minority position in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has said.
Ekweremadu, who made this known in an interview on Tuesday, said the threat to dump a political platform that gave one victory to another was not a new development, adding that in most cases, those that defected to other parties always returned before elections.
He said: “Let me say that PDP will never be a minority; certainly it is not going to happen. What you are seeing is not different from what we have seen in the past when election approaches.
“We have had this situation in the past, of people moving about. So I will not be surprised if those governors who left PDP come back to PDP; just as I won’t be surprised if our colleagues in the House of Representatives who moved from PDP to APC return to PDP.
“That is the beauty of democracy and its flexibility, which our system allows. I remember that my friend, Comrade Chukwumerije (Senator Uche Chukwumerije), sometime moved from PDP to PPA and then eventually returned to PDP as a senator. So, we have seen such in the past.
“There was a man called Senator Maitama Bello who was involved in that Shugaba matter. If you recall, he was then a minister at the time of Shagari.
“He was the minister, who deported Shugaba, the matter went to Supreme Court and the Supreme Court said that Shugaba should be allowed to stay in Nigeria because he is a Nigerian.
“So, he was in the Senate when I came in 2003. So at the approach of 2007 election, he moved from PDP to, I think APP, but shortly before the election, he returned to PDP”, Ekweremadu recalled.
He added, “So, we have seen some of these movements before, we are not worried. In the Senate, for instance, I’m not expecting that anybody will leave PDP in the Senate; it is unlikely. Senate is well coordinated and we are strongly behind PDP in the Senate”.
Ekweremadu hinted that the senate leadership was making frantic efforts to ensure that both the five PDP governors that defected to the APC and the House of Representatives members returned to the party.