The People’s Democratic Party of Nigeria has lost another as a prominent member, Hon. Samuel Onuigbo, has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Onuigbo is one of the the oldest members of the House of Representatives.
The former Governor of Abia state, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, was present in the house chamber when the APC party members celebrated the news of defection with a resounding ovation.
The defection news, however, caused serious commotion among members of the opposition party in the House of Reps.
The opposition members declared the move as “unconstitutional” and a clear breach of the law.
As such, the opposition members called for the seat of the defecting politician to be declared vacant.
According to a letter read by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on the floor of the House, Onuigbo, a lawmaker from Abia state, joined the ruling party because of the “crisis, outright impunity and a lack of democracy within the opposition party”.
House Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila reminded the house members that Hon. Onuigbo was “one of the oldest members serving in the house, as well as the most respected”.
Hon. Onuigbo was said to have sought advice from those within and beyond Abia state before deciding to dump the PDP and link up with the APC.
The move, he explained, was to contribute his quota to the APC in their efforts at putting Nigeria in the right position.
Hon. Solomon Bob, a member from Rivers state, rubbished Onuigbo’s talk of crisis within the party.
Bob put it to the Speaker that the move was against the laws of the land.
“Mr. Speaker, I know that you are a leader and you know what to do,” he began.
“What we are doing here is nothing but trampling on the constitution we swore to protect.
“If someone writes to you claiming he was leaving the party that sponsored him to the house because of crisis, it is your responsibility to investigate that before accepting the letter,” Hon. Bob pointed out.
The Speaker swiftly dismissed Hon Bob’s cries, citing precedence in the matter.
“Some years ago, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House decamped to the the PDP,” he stated.
“Did you ask for their seats t be declared vacant,” he queried Hon. Bob.
The move was a hot debate on the floor with many torn between party allegiances and the constitutional stipulations on the matter.