President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) did its best to avoid the mass defection at the national assembly.
This is coming barely hours after fifteen senators of the ruling party announced their defection to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
In the same vein, a total of 37 members of the House of Representatives defected from Nigeria’s ruling party.
Of this number, 32 joined the PDP while four joined the African Democratic Congress (ADC). One later announced he was also leaving the APC but did not state his new party.
While announcing their defection on Tuesday during plenary, the lawmakers cited division at all levels of the APC as the reason for their defection.
Among the defectors are Sani Rano, Barry Mpigi, Ali madaki, Dickson Tackighir, Hassan Saleh, Danburam Nuhu, Mark Gbilah, Razak Atunwa, Ahmed Garba Bichi, Abdulsamad Dasuk and Zakari Mohammed.
In his reaction via his Twitter handle, Buhari wished those who defected “the very best in their future undertakings”.
I wish all of our party members who today defected, the very best in their future undertakings. The APC has done its best to stop the defections, and I must commend the party leadership for working tirelessly to unite the party and position it for future victory.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) July 24, 2018
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) July 24, 2018
The president said such is expected “on the eve of elections”, adding that it poses no threat to the party and its aspirations.
He wrote: “I wish all of our party members who today defected, the very best in their future undertakings. The APC has done its best to stop the defections, and I must commend the party leadership for working tirelessly to unite the party and position it for future victory.”
“I am confident that no harm or injury will be done by these defections, to the APC and its aspirations. I urge party faithful to not despair, but to instead see this as something that happens in seasons like this, on the eve of elections.
“As the saying goes, all politics is local. We understand that some of the distinguished and honourable lawmakers have issues in/with their home states, especially on zoning which bars some of them from seeking another term in their constituencies.
“Let me also note that none of the defecting federal lawmakers has any specific grievances against me or the government I lead; neither do I harbour any ill-feeling towards any of them. I fully respect their freedom to choose what party to associate with.
“I am using this opportunity to restate my total commitment to the values of democracy, as well as my total willingness to work with ALL members of the national assembly, irrespective of their political party, for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.”