Six Kogi State House of Assembly members from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The lawmakers cited disputes that have bedevilled the PDP in the recent time as their reasons for quitting the party for the APC.
In a letter sent and read at the plenary by the Speaker of the House, Honourable Umar Iman, the defectors formally notified the House of their decision to quit the party for the APC, the ruling party in Kogi State.
Meanwhile, security operatives were stationed at the complex, as there were rumours that the defection might lead to a change of leadership in the House.
After a closed door executive meeting which lasted several hours, the sitting started with Speaker Umar reading the letter written and signed by the six defectors.
“We the undersigned honourable members of the Kogi State House of Assembly elected on the platform of the PDP, wish to formerly notify you of our decision to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Our action and decisions predicted on the factionalisation squabbles both at the national and state level, basically with the party having two National Chairmen, in persons of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
“Instructively, the existence of such divisive factions within the party for over 10 months has left us uncomfortable politically and subsequently, rendered us neophyte for effective and people driven representation of our various constituents.
”In view of the unfortunate diversion and the accompanying negative implications, we have no option than to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC), for us to be able to accomplish our campaign promises of bringing government closer to our people,” one of the defectors said.
However, the message did not go down well with the PDP members in the House as a member from Ogori-Magongo constituency, Godwin Osiyi, bade the six decamping members goodbye.
”These are people who are elected under the Peoples Democratic Party defecting, this is the greatest disappointment. We are in an executive meeting – Mr Speaker I expected that this letter you just read, copies would have been provided for members.
”These are overgrown adults who want to leave a party for party because of some squabbles they claim we have. I congratulate the APC for having more members but remember that anytime you have a problem, they will leave you.
“These are men of very low valour, so gird your loin very properly. Those of us remaining in the PDP are still very resilient”, Honourable Osiyi said.
Also reacting to the action, a PDP lawmaker, Friday Sanni, said the PDP will challenge there defection, noting that the members have to lose their seat.
”I know as a fact that the Peoples Democratic Party will take all necessary action against this abnormality because in the face of the law right now, there is no crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party in Kogi State.
“We don’t have any faction in the party, we have no faction in the PDP State Executive Committee. So describing State Executive Committee as divided, or national, I think it is an erroneous affection.
“Because in the face of the law right now, there is a National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party and as I speak to you, Ali Modu Sheriff operates from the National Party Secretariat of the PDP, you are all aware,” he said.