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NASS embroiled in more defections



Another PDP senator defects to APC Four Reps dump APC, 56 more set to leave

WITHE about four months to the 2019 general elections, All Progressives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are still trapped in chaotic defections that may mar their separate chances.
Moving his motion to adjourn plenary until Tuesday November 6, for the Upper Chamber to proceed on break for another two weeks shortly after its resumption from over two-month long annual vacation in September, Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan welcomed Senator Osinaka Chukwu (PDP – Rivers West) who just defected to the ruling party.
Speaking in his remarks, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said during the two-week recess relevant committees will continue to meet with a view to carrying out oversight functions especially on the implementation of the 2018 federal budget and the recently approved external loan under the facility of Eurobond.
But a source said that Chukwu’s move was a clearly perfected strategy to test the waters in a plot that will trigger more defections from PDP into APC in no distant time, adding that knocked his gavel on the recess as a coup de grace to at least delay the anticipated gale of defections by senators willing to dump the main opposition PDP as a damage control measure, if he cannot totally scuttle their plan.
In a related development, there are indications that about 60 members of House of Representatives are set to dump APC over their inability to secure its return tickets for 2019, with the plan setting the tone for another showdown at the floor of the lower chamber in yesterday plenary.
Although available information suggests that the resignation will come in batches, there is no going back for those behind the plot, who believe they were “manipulated” out of the primaries, with Representatives Mohammed Musa Soba from Kaduna State revealing that he will be in the first batch to decamp from the ruling party and three more APC lawmakers,
Akinlaja Joseph representing Ondo East-West Federal Constituency of Ondo State and Olatoye Temitope representing Lagelu-Akinyele Federal Constituency of Oyo State, Hassan Omale representing Ankpa-Omala-Omalaboro Federal Constituency of Kogi State following suit.
Others that may toe Soba’s path include Chairman of House Committee on Financial Crimes, Kayode Oladele, Baderinwa White, Isiaka Ibrahim, Goodluck Opia, Malle Aminu, Mayowa Akinfolarin, Lado Abdullahi and Jimoh Oladele among others.
However, lawmakers of the House of Representatives  gave assent to presidency’s request to raise $82.54 million “to refinance the balance of $500m matured Eurobond in the international capital market” from the Eurobond market out of $2.7 billion listed in the budget as a finance channel for the 2018 spending plan.
This would be the third Euro bond floated by the Nigerian government since 2017 in a total  borrowing value estimated at $8 billion.
It will be recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had summoned aggrieved APC lawmakers to a meeting at Aso Rock Presidential Villa in a bid to pacify them only two weeks ago.

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