Senate: Igbo Senators Lobby APC

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Less than two months to the inauguration of the Eighth Senate, some Igbo senators are set to leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Con­gress (APC).

The APC, which clinched majority Senate seats in the March 28 National Assembly poll, is set to constitute the leadership.

Ahead of that, it was learnt at the weekend that three ranking PDP senators from the South-East had opened talks with top leadership of the APC.

At least, two of the sena­tors, it was gathered, opened a channel of communication with one of the senators fa­voured to clinch the Senate president seat from the North- Central.

The lawmaker reportedly told his ranking colleague that the defection, coming from a high-ranking member of the Seventh Senate could not be treated with kid gloves.

The senator told his col­league that he would have to consult the national leadership of the PDP because the gentle­man’s arrangement was that since there was no ranking senator from the South-East, at least, until now, “if he gets a positive nod from the APC leadership, the deal can be perfected on the day of inau­guration which will then allow him to clinch the desired slot.”

The senator was yet to get back to his colleague as at the weekend because the APC national leadership was yet to conclude on the zon­ing arrangement for leader­ship positions in the National Assembly. But the snag in the deal was that the South- East senator was about being checkmated by two of his colleagues from the region who had powerful links with two former military heads of state. The former military men played significant roles in the March 28 victory of the APC.

Defecting to another party, other than the one on whose platform a lawmaker was elected can only be possible after taking the oath of office on inauguration day, after the Senate president had emerged.

The procedure was stipu­lated in Orders 1,2,3 and 4 and the Senate Standing Orders 2011 (as amended).

It was, however, learnt that the lobbying senators were hopeful of securing an under­standing with the leadership of the APC, while the defec­tion could be effected after the composition of the new Na­tional Assembly.

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