â€¢May defect before July 27 Nâ€™Assembly recess
â€¢Sokoto, Benue cabinets dissolved as prelude to realignment
â€¢Six other governors to remain in APC and play double game
Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja
Realignment of political forces to oust President Muhammadu Buhari from office has intensified with the imminent movement of Senate President Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara; and Governors Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto State), Samuel Ortom (Benue State) and Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara State), to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), THISDAY learnt Tuesday.
The political bigwigs are dumping the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) with scores of federal and state legislators shortly before the July 27 scheduled recess of the National Assembly, THISDAY further learnt.
Six other APC governors, who consider it impolitic to move, according to multiple and reliable sources in the know of the realignment process, would remain in the ruling party and play the spoilerâ€™s role as part of the strategic plan to push Buhari out of power next year.
Already, both Tambuwal and Ortom have dissolved their cabinets, barely a year to the end of their tenure, to offload APC elements in their government and bring in trusted hands that would assist them to execute their agenda.
The defections, THISDAY learnt, are the next stanza in the strategic plan to further weaken the ruling party after it was broken, last week, with the emergence of the reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC), which proceeded to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the PDP and 38 other political parties on Monday.
The MoU gave birth to the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), a gathering of opposition parties, intent on procuring a consensus presidential candidate that would defeat Buhari and wrest power from the APC in the impending 2019 general election.
Sources at the Senate and the House of Representatives told THISDAY Tuesday in Abuja that the â€˜â€™unprecedented defectionâ€™â€™, which might turn the ruling party into a minority party in the National Assembly, would definitely occur before the lawmakers go on recess on July 27.
A principal officer of the National Assembly, who was reacting to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by PDP with other 38 political parties on Monday, while chatting with THISDAY, said: â€˜â€™The APC has not seen anything yet; very soon, they will soon witness an unprecedented defection of many lawmakers from APC to PDP.
â€˜â€™This will happen before we break for recess on July 27 this month. By the time this is done, we will turn APC into a minority party in both chambers of the National Assembly.â€™â€™
Another senator, who pleaded anonymity, confided in THISDAY that â€˜â€™over 28 APC senators will defect along with Senate President Bukola Saraki to PDP any moment from now.â€™â€™
THISDAY gathered that the current division within the APC, caused by the formation of the reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC) by some aggrieved members of the ruling party, was deliberately carried out to enable some aggrieved lawmakers at the state and national levels to defect, in line with the provision of the 1999 Constitution.
With the division, the lawmakers can now defect without any legal implication that would warrant their seats to be declared vacant.
Tambuwal, who according to sources, is being favoured by leaders of the PDP, especially the governors, to fly the presidential ticket of the party, is said to have secretly constituted his presidential campaign team, with an appointment of a â€˜â€™respected journalist, scholar and media consultant from Anambra State,â€™â€™ as his spokesman.
â€˜â€™All is now set; Governor Aminu Tambuwal will surely return to PDP before the end of this month,â€™â€™ a close political associate of the governor stated.
On his part, Ortom is said to be very pushy in his move to return to PDP in the past few days because of his huge political disagreement with his acclaimed political godfather, Senator George Akume, allegedly instigated by the presidency.
The recent dissolution of his cabinet that saw the removal of Akumeâ€™s loyalists, according to sources, signalled his final decision to leave APC, coupled with the fast fading popularity of the party in the state.