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Thursday, 2 August 2018

Defection: Oshiomhole Calls For Saraki's Resignation As APC Senators Meet Buhari

The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole; and some senators elected on the platform of the party led by the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, on Wednesday met behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The meeting came amidst defections, as Oshiomhole talked tough.

Oshiomhole told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that the right thing for the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, is to vacate his seat, having left the party.

This is just as the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, announced his defection from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday. By his action, Tambuwal has increased the number of the APC governors to leave the ruling party to three. Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and his counterpart from Kwara, Abdulfatah Ahmed, had earlier announced their defection to the PDP.

Oshiomhole said it was a matter of honour for Saraki to leave “the crown in the family it belongs to.”

Oshiomhole said, “But whatever is the reason, we can defect from the party but we can’t defect from Nigeria. The only thing is that there are other consequential issues that every man or woman of honour who had taken such decisions would be expected to follow through.

“I mean you should not collect a crown that belongs to a family and wear it on behalf of the family if for your personal reasons which he has enumerated that he has gone to another family.

“It is just a matter of honour to leave the crown in the house that the crown belongs to.

“As it stands even now, the APC is still the largest party in the Senate. We have 53 senators, that is much more than what the PDP has, or APGA has.”

The former Edo State governor said nobody in the party would be surprised by the decisions of those who defected because the signs were clear before now.

He however admitted that it was a tempting moment for the party.

He added, “Nobody in the APC will be surprised about the development. In fact, they have stayed a little bit longer than we thought. Last week, the Kwara State governor said he was leaving but he didn’t say when. So, we are not surprised at all. But these are what I might call temping moments because I had faced similar situations in my state, when people were leaving.

“But the beauty of democracy is that whether big or small, it is one man one vote on election day. There is no difference between a senator, a president, a journalist and any other person.

“In a sense, we have to accept that once a couple for one reason or the other find out that they are not compatible, the only honourable thing is to go.”

Oshiomhole, however, said he was happy that Saraki admitted that he and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo as well as some state governors tried their best to resolve the matter that led to his exit.

”But he argued that those efforts came too late. But I couldn’t have started acting before I was born,” the party chairman said.

While admitting that there were lessons to be learned from the development, Oshiomhole said going forward, he would expect the system to get stronger to the extent that it was able to learn the correct lessons and take the correct steps.

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