Some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC); who defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before the 2019 general elections are scheming to return to their old party.
The year 2018 witnessed a gale of defections of prominent politicians; between the APC and the PDP.
Some of the political bigwigs who dumped the APC for PDP are Bukola Saraki, former Senate President; Dino Melaye; Abdulfatah Ahmed, former Kwara State governor; Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto State; Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue State; Yakubu Dogara, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and Jim Nwobodo, former governor of old Anambra State.
Prominent PDP members, who defected to APC before the 2019 elections are Godswill Akpabio, former governor of Akwa Ibom State, who is now the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs; Emmanuel Uduaghan, former Delta State governor and others.
However, an anonymous member of the APC National Working Committee (NWC); confirmed the reports regarding the potential switch by these former APC members.
He, however, failed to disclose their names, saying, “Nigerians will see for themselves in the coming days.
“Some of these bigwigs who left the APC for PDP are already negotiating to find their ways back into our party. This may be due to a number of factors; but primarily it may be connected to the dismal performance of their party in last year’s general elections and recently the Kogi and Bayelsa polls.”
On whether it has nothing to do with persecution or threats; by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), he said, “That is not true. It may be because of just wanting to belong to the mainstream political party. No reasonable politician will desire to stay in a party that is out of power except you are very principled.
“Also, it may be due to appointments or other political patronages. But I don’t think it has to do with EFCC or corruption cases; because they have seen from the case of Orji Uzor Kalu, former Abia State governor, that President Muhammadu Buhari has zero-tolerance for corruption and if you are indicted and found guilty; no amount of APC membership can save you from going to jail.”
In the same vein, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu; said the APC will be willing to receive the prodigal politicians.
“We don’t have a policy that banishes people. What we have is a template of good governance, of upholding the best democratic principles.
“So, anybody who considers himself good enough to operate by the rules; such a person is welcome into our party”, he said.
In his response, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary; said the statement that some of its party members are seeking a return to the APC is untrue.
He said some unscrupulous elements having failed in their quest to cause a crisis in the PDP are fabricating rumours of an impending implosion in the party.
He also added that no PDP member has written to the party notifying its leadership; of joining the APC or any other political parties.
“The PDP does not respond to rumours, innuendos and beer parlour gossips. The PDP is a structured political party with established organs, much more than any other political party in Nigeria.
“And as such, it has an established format of carrying out its activities.
“The PDP as we speak is very united under the able leadership of Prince Uche Secondus and till this moment; no member of our party has written to the party leadership; that they are leaving the PDP for the APC or any other political party”, he said.