For defecting to the African Democratic Congress, 118 serving lawmakers at the federal and state levels have been given automatic tickets.
The National Chairman of ADC, Chief Ralphs Nwosu, announced the party’s decision at its 61st National Executive Committee meeting, in Abuja on Thursday.
In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the ADC, Mrs Yemi Kolapo, the national chairman was quoted as saying the move was necessary to encourage the defectors.
He said the lawmakers, who recently defected to the party from the ruling All Progressives Congress and other parties, were rewarded for coming out boldly to identify with the “fastest growing party” in Nigeria at a crucial time in the history of the country’s democracy.
Ninety-five of the defecting legislators are serving states House of Assembly members, 18 are members of the House of Representatives, and five are senators.
Nwosu said, “We need to honour and appreciate them because they abandoned the ruling and bigger parties for a party that is just gathering momentum.
“The development can be attributed to the fact that the lawmakers and Nigerians at large have agreed that an end must come to anarchy, insecurity, lack of focus and terrorism in Nigeria.
“And the best platform, right now, is the ADC. They are from Adamawa, Ondo, Osun, Imo, Ebonyi, Ogun and Oyo states, among others.”
Also, in line with ADC’s commitment to the inclusion of youths, women and the the physically-challenged persons in its activities, Nwosu added that, while the party had decided to give 50 per cent discount on Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms to aspirants under the age of 40, the fees for women and the physically-challenged aspirants were optional.
On the party’s preparedness for the 2019 elections, the ADC chairman disclosed that the primaries for aspirants contesting for the House of Assembly elections would hold on September 29, 2018, while governorship primaries would hold on October 2, 2018.
The National Assembly primaries would hold on October 4, 2018, and presidential, October 6, 2018.
“Aspirants have been coming to obtain forms for the presidential primaries. We will unveil our aspirants very soon,” he said.