Following the defection of some federal lawmakers from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some to the African Democratic Congress (ADC)in the senate and the House of Representatives respectively on Tuesday, Nigerians have predicted the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government and the APC in 2019 elections.
The ruling party was hit by political tsunami in the two chambers of the National Assembly when no fewer than 15 Senators on APC platform announced their movement to the PDP in a letter to President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, which was read at plenary.
Similarly, 32 members of APC in the House of Representatives defected to People’s Democratic Party, PDP while four others in the APC from Oyo State also defected to the African Democratic Congress.
Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives made the announcement, throwing the PDP camp into jubilation.
Meanwhile, analysts are of the opinion that the mass exodus in the National Assembly is a clear signal that APC will be voted out in the 2019 general elections.
They contended that as the people’s representatives, the action of the legislators cannot be too different from the yearnings and aspirations of their constituents in whom resides the political power to determine who gets what and when.
Speaking to BusinessDay on the development on Tuesday a political analyst and security expert, Majeed Dahiru, said Nigeria must be saved from the misrule of the Buhari government. He said “it is very good for democracy; it simply means that Nigerians have resolved never to allow tyranny or dictatorial tendencies to have a space in our democracy.
“By every standard by every justification, President Muhammadu Buhari has performed below all of his predecessors put together. He has performed the lowest in the history of Nigeria. Nigerians have not been this divided not even during the 1966 events that led to the civil war.
“Today he (Buhari) has divide section against section, religion against religion, even the rich against the poor. Even in his political party he has divided faction against faction, he has divided members of the National Assembly, he has proved to be a very divisive figure and Nigeria has to be pulled back from the brinks, before we end up in the gutters. So today marks a watershed in our democracy,” he said.
Also speaking to BusinessDay on Tuesday, a public intellectual and politician, Sam Amadi, condemned what he described as early morning Gestapo-like operation of the Senate President and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, by the Nigerian police, warning that it portends danger. He added that it shows that this government has irritation for democratic and rule -based norm, stressing the government is looking more like a junta
He noted that “if 15 Senators and 36 House of Reps members could defect in one day, it clearly shows that the ruling party is so factionalized, which shows a total lack of managerial and political skills. It shows that the ruling party has failed and should be ashamed. This is a land mark in political mismanagement.”
The chairman of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Yusuf Yabagi in his reaction said nothing has changed, adding that it is still the same people that left PDP to form the APC that are going back to PDP again. He added that Buhari and the APC made the matter worse because they have no plan, no capacity and no vision. “The APC is just a bunch of people that came together and sold a dummy to Nigerians. So I believe the real credible alternative which is what we (ADP) represent is yet to emerge and we are working on it and very soon something will come up,” he said.
Solomon Gbenga, National Youth Coordinator, Young Peoples Party, YYP noted that what is happening now is a replica of the 2014 episode when members of the then ruling PDP joined APC to wrestle power.
He said the latest development is a summary of what awaits APC in 2019 as the people are disenchanted with the ruling party which is running the country in a dictatorial manner.
According to him, what happened to Jonathan and PDP in 2014 is what is happening to Buhari and APC. They will be defeated in 2019 no doubt about that. Nigerians are disenchanted with the high handedness of APC government which keeps harassing members of the National Assembly and everyone”.
In his reaction a PDP chieftain from North Central, Aondoakaa Yayo said, “coupled with the killings in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba, Plateau other parts of the Belt and the defection of notable leaders like Barnabas Gemade, APC can not win the 2019 general elections, at least in the North Central Zones”.
Yayo called on other APC lawmakers from the zone who are performing well and deserved to be reelected but are still in the APC to vacate the party or be doomed to vacate the National Assembly along with Buhari and his APC in 2019.
However, Murtala Mohammed, President Nigerian Youth Council said the defection by members of the National Assembly is ill timed and it is not in the interest of the youths and the country generally.
Mohammed observed that most of the defectors are taking such actions for their “personal interest and not in the interest of the country”, and called on them to go to their ” primary duty of lawmaking and passing the budget on time”.
Innocent Odoh and James Kwen, Abuja