Two Reps decamp to APC as PDP crisis rages
Lawmakers raise panel to investigate herdsmen attack In Ekiti
The crisis rocking the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday reverberated in the House of Representatives as two members of the party, Tony Nwoye and Emmanuel Udende announced their defection to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on the floor of the chamber.
Yesterday’s defection, the first in the 8th Assembly, slightly altered the numerical standing of the parties in the lower chamber as the APC now has 215 lawmakers, while the PDP members stand at 138. The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has three members.
The Accord Party, Labour Party and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) have a member each while the one seat, the Nasarawa/Toto federal constituency of Nasarawa State is vacant following the death of the erstwhile representative, Baba Musa Onwana.
Nwoye, a former Chairman of the PDP in Anambra State and member representing Anambra east/west federal constituency of Anambra State, while Emmanuel Udende represents Katsina-Ala/Ukum/Logo federal constituency of Benue State.
While Nwoye is a fresh member in the House, Udende, who is deputy chairman, committee on police affairs is spending his second tenure in the House of Representatives.
In their separate letters to the House and read on the floor by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, the two members, cited division in the PDP as the reason for leaving the party.
The members claimed that since the PDP had allegedly broken into three factions headed by Ali Modu Sheriff, Ahmed Makarfi and Jerry Gana, they do not wish to continue to pitch tents with any faction.
The lawmakers told the speaker in the letters that the crisis in the party was affecting their concentration on the floor to carry out their legislative duties.
The development forced the Minority Leader, Leo Ogor to raise a point of order to protest the letters submitted by the duo alleging that the PDP is divided.
According to him, there is no court ruling to suggests that the party is in crisis and split into factions.
The Speaker said there was no need to debate the matter, as the issues of the PDP will be handled at its national level.
In another development, the House of Representatives yesterday, resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee to investigate the remote causes of the recent attack on the Oke-Ako community in Ekiti State by alleged Fulani herdsmen.
The House directed the Inspector – General of Police, Solomon Arase to deploy Police personnel to affected areas in order to avert any likely reprisals.
The lower chamber further urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to send relief materials to the affected community.
These resolutions followed a motion of urgent public importance entitled “the fatal invasion of Oke Ako Ekiti community by suspected herdsmen” introduced by Emmanuel Agboola.
Moving the motion, the lawmaker said that the attacks if not curbed would lead to reprisal attacks and imminent guerilla warfare.
Agboola expressed concern that the ‘back to farm’ slogan of the current administration in a bid to diversify the economy may not see the light of day as the farms were being destroyed by “uncoordinated grazing” in the country.
The House, which adopted the motion after it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara also urged the Police Service Commission to hasten the process of recruitment of more personnel into the force.