The cold war between the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and some state governors led by Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has made the main opposition party unattractive for Senators elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who were planning to defect.
Naija News understands that the planned defection by 15 APC senators may not see the light of day following warnings that they risk losing their seats and the crisis rocking the PDP.
The PDP has also made it clear to most senators that it cannot replace its candidates whose names have already been forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
With the electoral law allowing the PDP only to substitute candidates with party members and not defectors, the PDP could only offer the aggrieved senators ministerial and board appointments and other forms of rehabilitation provided they emerge victorious in the 2023 election.
According to The Nation, multiple sources revealed that the aggrieved APC senators have second thoughts about dumping the party.
The Senate leadership reportedly met with the senators, who were warned of the implications of their defection and vowed not to allow such a development ahead of the 2023 elections.
While the PDP continues pressuring some of the senators to make symbolic defection to destabilize APC, most of the aggrieved lawmakers are allegedly waiting till after the Sallah break to see the outcome of the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“So far, PDP has made it clear that it cannot offer us the same tickets denied us by APC.
“Some of the leaders cited the Electoral Act 2022, which doesn’t allow a defector to replace a candidate already elected and presented to INEC. A replacement can only be from within PDP.
“The offers from PDP were limited to ministerial, board, and some ambiguous appointments if the party wins the next presidential election. Only a foolish politician will place his hope on uncertainty.
“We still have chances in APC if we allow President Muhammadu Buhari to address the injustice we complained about,” a senator from the North-East told The Nation.
Another Senator said: “Some of us are having a second thought on defection because of the crisis of confidence between PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and some stakeholders.
“It is obvious that PDP has a bigger problem at hand and it might go into the election divided. This is a landmine.”
“From the situation, some PDP governors have opened collaborative talks with APC.
“Though the negotiations are still at preliminary stage, they cannot be wished away.”
A senator from the North-West said: “I am not defecting to any party again. I have not seen a viable alternative.”