By Codratus Godson
Could it be that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is quietly planning its own counter bomb in terms of decamping? Could it be that they are deeply wooing some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains over?
Insiders hinted that the ruling party may be planning to have the last laugh. For now, the opposition party is jubilating and celebrating the defections to their party. The defections may be creating holes of opportunities in the ruling party that some PDP lords may not mind to occupy.
A source in Port Harcourt told Silver News that while those leaving the APC are eyeing future fortunes, they may be walking away from present opportunities for future hopes. A source said they are acting like a dog that sees the shadow of a fat bone in the pond and drops the one in its mouth to catch the shadow. The dog may end up losing both bones.
It was gathered that some PDP lords (senators and governors) think they may fare better defecting to the APC to grab the slots that showing up in the ruling party, instead of hoping to win in 2019 before catching them.
A party media consultant hinted on Friday that one senator and one two governors have been confirmed. He said later, many senators and governors would decamp to the APC. He sounded so happy and unshaken.
A PDP source however said more APC members will defect. He said some are afraid of leaving to avoid being hounded. They want to see what would happen to the first decampees.
An online newspaper, THEWILL seemed to confirm this line of investigation with this report:
As politicians realign ahead of the 2019 general elections, feelers reaching THEWILL barring any last minute changes, indicate that Senator Godswill Akpabio, a stalwart of the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and Senate Minority Leader will defect from the party to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Also on the list of likely defectors from the PDP to the APC are Governors –Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Ben Ayade (Cross River) and Dave Umahi (Ebonyi).
Two senior members of the government with knowledge of the development, who asked to remain anonymous, told THEWILL that talks have been ongoing to receive the defectors into the APC, which recently lost three governors – Sokoto, Kwara and Benue – as well as at least 36 members of the House of Representatives and 14 senators, including Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
THEWILL gathered that Akpabio has had talks with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the APC national chairman and Thursday had a long meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa over his planned defection.
THEWILL can also report that relations between Akpabio, a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and his successor, who he singled-handedly installed in 2015, Emmanuel Udom, have been sour for over 2 years even though both men have pretended to be cool with each other in public.
Akpabio boycotted Thursday’s NEC meeting of the PDP in Abuja.
THEWILL further gathered that Governors Ugwuanyi and Ayade are no longer comfortable with the PDP following disagreements between them and the leadership of the party under Uche Secondus coupled with the overbearing influences of Senate Deputy President Ike Ekweremadu, who is from Enugu and Senator Liyel Imoke, the former Cross River Governor over the party’s affairs in their states.
THEWILL gathered that Ayade, who has been struggling to perform like his predecessor, Imoke, had reached out to President Muhammadu Buhari’s top aides and indicated his interest to defect. He is the only opposition governor in the South-South that has hosted Buhari twice on a state visit and was recently on the president’s entourage to the ECOWAS summit in Togo.
THEWILL also gathered that Governor Ugwuanyi has been tactically shying away from PDP affairs as he perfects his exit.
As for Umahi, our sources said the governor has never hidden his affection for President Buhari. “His defection is also a matter of time,” the source added.
However, President Buhari has not shown any panic but has rather said those decamping were bad eggs that needed to give way. He assured APC supporters in Bauchi that his administration would continue to work hard to surpass its campaign promises for a better Nigeria.
President Buhari, according to a statement by Femi Adesina, his spokesman, also told supporters not to be perturbed by the recent defections in the party, saying “God will continue to fish out the bad eggs among us,” as the 2019 general elections approach.
The President spoke at the commencement of the campaign rally for the Bauchi South Senatorial District bye-elections and the formal presentation of APC Candidate for the August 11 poll, Hon. Gumau Lawal Yahaya.
President Buhari told the rally that the APC-led government had remained faithful in implementing its campaign promise of improving the economy, securing the country, and the fight against corruption.
“The work we are doing is because of God, our country and you. I want to inform you that the knowledge we have garnered over the years, we won’t allow you to be cheated.
‘‘Like we promised, what will determine a good future for the country are security, strong economy and to stop corruption.
“We campaigned on these things, you voted for us and we will never forget, “the President said to a thunderous applause by party supporters at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, the statement said.
Endorsing the APC candidate for the senatorial bye-election, the President who was accompanied by the party Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, Governors of Bauchi, Plateau, Kano and Imo States, and other party officials declared: “we have confidence in him and we trust him.”
He, therefore, urged the people of Bauchi South senatorial district to vote Hon. Yahaya in the upcoming election.
The President also thanked the people of Bauchi for defying the heavy rainfall and coming out en masse to welcome him and show solidarity to the party’s candidate in the Senatorial election.