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Tension as 30 Senators, 60 Reps abandons APC to join R-APC

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Members of the newly launched reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC) are said to have kick-started moves aimed at ensuring their defection to the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a matter of weeks.
Sources close to members of the APC faction in the National Assembly said development would alter the power structure in the Assembly in a matter of days.
The lawmakers are due to embark on their annual recess on July 21, just as it was confirmed that all the processes leading to the mass defection will be concluded a week before the recess.
Sources close to the party also confirmed that Senate President, Bukola Saraki  and Speaker Yakubu Dogara are leading the defecting team of lawmakers which could switch the majority outlook in the two chambers.
It was gathered that the R-APC already secured the buy-in of 30 Senators and 60 Rep members.
A source declared that with the crisis that has engulfed the APC, the lawmakers would have satisfied the constitutional requirement in Section 68(1,g) which indicates that a lawmaker can only defect from his party if there is division within the party that brought him to the chamber.
It was gathered that the R-APC senators and Rep members in almost all the states, including those from Kano, Adamawa, Sokoto, OyoKwara, Kogi, Kaduna, Bauchi and Benue states, are among those leaving the party.
The defection of the lawmakers from these states would ensure that the R-APC and its ally, the PDP, are firmly in control of the situation in the National Assembly.
Sunday Tribune gathered from another source that the APC lawmakers will declare for the Reformed APC (R-APC), a break-away faction from the ruling APC, onward their movement to a new party.
R-APC, which is a fusion of New PDP (n-PDP) block within the APC and other aggrieved leaders who were schemed out in the power play during the congresses in their states, last week formally broke away from the APC.
It was gathered that the next destination of R-APC members across the country may be Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), if the leadership of the umbrella party fulfill the conditions given by the intending joiners and returnees.
Part of the condition, Sunday Tribune was informed, is that the PDP should change its name, a condition PDP leaders were said to be warmly amenable to.
Sunday Tribune gathered from a reliable source that the name change may be an alteration of part of the current name of the PDP and may not involve a wholesale name change.
“With the launch of the R-APC, a lot of interesting things will happen in the National Assembly. We have decided that with this resumption this time, we are going to make enough statements that will shake the polity and then go on the annual recess.
 
“But I can assure you that before the recess, the gale of defection will have been concluded,” a source, who is a lawmaker, said.
It was gathered that the acquittal of Senate President Bukola Saraki at the Supreme Court has further emboldened the R-APC members, many of whom had rallied round the Senate President in the battle to prove his innocence all along.
“It took this government 1,018 days to prosecute Saraki on what has been seen an initial as a merry go round. It was purely a political step that is bound to boomerang. Everyone knows that Saraki played critical roles in ensuring the victory of APC against his old party the PDP in 2015.
 
“It should not be too much to concede the Senate presidency to such a group like the nPDP, which proved its worth through valuable contributions to the 2015 campaign.
 
“Now we have seen that we are not wanted in this party. They have constituted their executive without recourse to the complaints to the nPDP. It is clear that they have also sidelined the Senate President and Speaker Dogara in the running of the affairs of the party.
 
“At National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings, the duo of Senate President and Speaker are reduced to spectators. Nothing like consultation. Nothing to show we are working together. It is very clear that one day we will have to retrace our steps and reunite with the people that want to work with us,” another source stated.
The source added that the battle against Saraki has been from day one of his Senate Presidency, adding that the number three citizen was not welcomed to the presidential villa until four months after his emergence.
It was also gathered that the R-APC members are fine-tuning the power sharing formula, especially the issues in Sokoto, which appear to have made the expected defection of Governor Aminu Tambuwal to look a bit shaky for some weeks now.
It was gathered they the man regarded as the godfather of Sokoto politics, Senator Magartakar Wamakko was being reached for an amicable resolution of the power game in the state.
A source also said that the R-APC has also lined up a number of surprises for the APC and that during this week a key development will unfold.

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