This morning on the front page of the VANGUARD, the presidency reveals that Senate President Bukola Saraki’s defection is good riddance. The Federal Government in its first formal response to the gale of defections from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday described the exit of Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, as a good riddance that would remove obstacles to the delivery of good governance. The government’s reaction was articulated through the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. Speaking after the regular Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting, Alhaji Mohammed said: “If Senate President Bukola Saraki were not a member of the APC, the party and the government it leads could not have suffered more than they had already done, with regards to the delay in passing the budget, approving key appointments and so on. “In other words, Saraki has behaved all along as a member of the opposition, deliberately slowing down the progress of the APC-led Federal Government. “It is therefore neither a surprise nor a blow that he has defected. “Perhaps the only surprise is that when he eventually defected, it was a mere whimper. If we didn’t gain by having our member as Senate President, we stand to lose nothing by losing him.”
Still on politics the All Progressives Congress has asked Bukola Saraki to resign as the Senate President. According to THE NATION, DAILY SUN and THE PUNCH, The APC, which on Tuesday queried him for breaching Article 21 of the party’s constitution, asked him to resign his positon because the PDP is the minority party in the Senate. He cannot go away with another person’s crown, party Chairman Adams Oshiomhole said. The Federal Government said Saraki would not be missed by the ruling party because, even as a party member, he behaved like an opposition within. In Saraki’s Ilorin, Kwara State capital hometown, some key members of the PDP, led by state Chairman Iyiola Oyedepo, announced their defection to the APC. Former Publicity Secretary Rex Olawoyeo described Saraki as an “anathema”, who they could not work with.
Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal has fired President Muhammadu Buhari and his ex party saying Nigeria is run by an incompetent Leader. DAILY INDEPENDENT, NEW TELEGRAPH report that Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, said Nigeria is being run by an incompetent leader, after moving from APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Declaring his new political platform before a mammoth crowd in Sokoto, Tambuwal, said, “Good governance vis-à-vis economic well-being of our people remain the major reasons for my action today”. Tambuwal, who said he is returning to the PDP, the party he left in 2014 with a clear conscience cited massive disunity in the country, rising ethno-religious crisis, lopsided appointments by the Muhammadu Buhari-led government and incompetence of the ruling party as reasons why he called it quit with the party. Other reasons for his dumping APC are massive corruption in the party, crumbling economy, widespread killings and youth employment among the teeming youths of the country.
THE GUARDIAN reports on its front page that Tambuwal, APC Spokesman and 41 state lawmakers defect to PDP. The All Progressives Congress (APC) was again rocked yesterday in the latest wave of defections by some of its key members to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But the ruling party said it remained unshaken.The APC lost its National Publicity Secretary Bolaji Abdullahi, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, 18 Sokoto State House of Assembly members and Kano State Deputy Governor Hafiz Abubakar. Also, 23 of the 24 members of the Kwara State House of Assembly crossed over to the PDP. There are 30 state legislators in Sokoto. The previous day, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and Ambassador to South Africa Ahmed Musa Ibeto quit the party. A week earlier, 14 senators, 37 members of the House of Representatives and Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom also left. But in a statement yesterday, APC’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena said: “As a party, our attention is on the matter at hand, the 2019 general elections. We are united and focused, with an eye to the continuation of our winning streak in all elections this year, next year and beyond. And we will win.”
Moving away from defection, NIGERIAN TRIBUNE reports election sequence: Appeal Court nullifies judgment stopping NASS. The court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, set aside the judgement of the Federal High Court which stopped the National Assembly from taking any action on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018, which President Muhammadu Buhari withheld his assent to. According to the five-member panel of justices of the appellate court, presided over by the President of the court, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, Accord, the political party that filled the suit, could not stop the National Assembly from taking action in a bill which had not become an act.
Finally on newpapers headlines today, BUSINESS DAY, Defection alter balance of power ahead of 2019. The high profile defections that has hit the All Progressives Congress (APC) has altered the balance of power among the country’s two main parties ahead of the 2019 elections. Before the current defections, APC was the dominant party in most parts of the country. The APC controlled all the states in the North West (Kano, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Kebbi). In the North East, the APC controls Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Adamawa except Gombe and Taraba which are PDP controlled states. In the North Central, the APC was fully in control of the region until the recent defections. The PDP controlled just one state in the South West, Ekiti State, which it has now lost to APC in the July 14 elections and also 9 out of the 11 states in the South South and South East. But the recent defections from the ruling party has changed that equation. The defections have given the PDP a foothold in the North Central, with the defections of the governor Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed to the PDP and also Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue State, who also has moved to the PDP. Before the defections, the APC controlled all the states in the region.
The defection of Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal to the PDP, has also given the PDP a foothold in the North West another region that before now had only APC governors. This means that for the first time, since the PDP lost the 2015 national elections, the party now has a foothold in all regions of the country, a position that could give it some leverage in the 2019 elections. Internal wrangling within the APC has also put several more states in the play ahead of the 2019 elections. Kano, the state that gave the APC and President Buhari the highest votes in the 2015 national elections is now up for grabs by the PDP due to the defection of the former Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso from the APC. Internal wrangling in Kaduna between the governor, Nasir El-Rufai and the senators from the state also means that all is not well in the state and could impact on the party’s fortunes ahead of the 2019 national elections. Atiku’s influence in Adamawa state also means that the state could be turned against the APC in 2019.