The Chairman of Nigeria’s governing party, All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole says the defection of party members will not affect the fortunes of the APC in 2019 general election.
He insists that he is “not perturbed by their move.”
Fifteen Senators and thirty three members of the House of Representatives elected on the platform of the APC defected to the PDP on Tuesday, bringing an end to months of speculations on cracks in the governing party.
Oshiomhole spoke with State House correspondents after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday.
“This party that I’m privileged to chair is not worried at all; we are not disturbed; I’m not going to lose my sleep. We will go into the campaign. Check the electoral result; you would find that a lot of those who claimed to have decamped, on a good day, the vote they got that made them members of the Senate, our president got much more votes in their constituency. The thing going on is that you have a lot of so called big masquerades with very little and no electoral value. Very soon Nigerians will go to the polls and we will see who will deliver what in his constituency,” he said.
Oshiomhole stated that he made efforts to appease aggrieved members of the party, but ‘his efforts could not ‘change the minds’ of those who had decided to leave the party’.
“I have tried my best which I think was needed to give people comfort, especially those who claimed to be aggrieved. But those who have other hidden agenda that are not negotiable, I am not going to be able to appease anyone… But those who felt they have issues within the management of the party and it’s on the table, it can be dealt with. But those who have issues under the table they are beyond me.”
Oshiomhole said urged politicians to decide on which side of the political spectrum they belong to.
“To be a progressive party means we must be clear that it cannot be a party for everyone. We have to be sure that you subscribed to the values and ideals of a progressive party. If indeed you belong to the extreme right, and you mistakenly find yourself in a progressive party, obviously that is not where you belong. As soon as you realise that you can’t adjust to the requirement of progressive, which is people driven, people based, people oriented and you choose to return to the right wing where you know what the name of the game was, share the money, it is your choice,’’ the APC chairman explained.
Implication of defection
On the implication of the defection of the legislators for the APC, Oshiomhole said it would be for the Nigerian people and not his party.
“The business of the Senate or the National Assembly is not to legislate for the good governance of APC, it is to legislate for the good governance of Nigeria. If people have chosen that it is more politically convenient to suspend the process of legislation ahead of time because it is not convenient for their political interests and choose to insubordinate the Nigerian National interest for that purpose, it is their choice. If there are implications, it is for the Nigerian nation not for APC,’’ he stated.
On the alleged siege on the houses of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; and the Deputy President of the Senate, Oshiomhole said it was a security matter, which he was not competent to speak about.