Not fewer than 37 members of the House of Representatives defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday, July 24.
The defectors cited "victimization and criminalization of APC members with divergent views" as the reason why they dumped the party.
A cross-section of the defectors led by Razak Atunwa (now PDP, Kwara) said they had joined the APC in 2014 because they believed in its change and progressive ideals, which according to him, is now derailed as the party is set to the path of "self-destruct."
The defection saw 37 members elected under APC platform dump the party for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC) at the House of Representatives.
As party membership now stands in the House of Representatives, Daily Trust reports that APC still retains the majority seat with the following breakdown:
APC - 192
PDP - 156
APGA - 5
ADC - 4
Accord - 1
SDP - 1;
Vacant seat (over a deceased member) - 1
Some of the 33 defectors to the PDP include Ahmed Chachangi (Kaduna), Razak Atunwa (Kwara), Aliyu Madaki (Kano), Hassan Saleh (Benue), Mark Gbillah (Benue), Aliyu Pategi (Kwara), Aminu Shagari (Sokoto), Abdulsamad Dasuki (Sokoto), Emmanuel Oker-Jev (Benue), Nasir Garo (Kano).
Others include Zacharia Mohammed (Kwara), Hassan Omale (Benue), Funke Adedoyin (Kwara), Tope Olayuonu (Kwara), Dickson Takir (Benue), Bode Ayorinde (Ondo), Ali Madaki (Kano) among others.
The four lawmakers who defected to the ADC were Taiwo Akintola (Oyo), Olufemi Samson (Oyo), Sunday Adepoju (Oyo) and Wole Olasupo (Oyo).
Addressing newsmen after the defection, the leader of the APC Caucus in the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila (APC, Lagos) said the defected members were in desperate search of tickets for the 2019 general election. previously reported that following the mass defection of 15 senators from the APC on Tuesday, July 24, the Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan, said that the ruling party has a majority in the Senate with 52 lawmakers.
Senator Lawan stated this after a two-hour meeting of the APC caucus. Though optimistic that some of the defecting senators will have a rethink and return to the APC, Lawan said the party still has a majority in the Senate.