Nigeria’s ruling party loses 3 more lawmakers

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) – Three Nigerian parliamentarians on Thursday defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to other parties, in what represents an unabated political realignments ahead of the country's general election in February 2019.

The lawmakers — Adekunle Akinlade, Mohamed Ajanah and Salisu Koko — announced their defections at the House of Representatives’ plenary in the capital city Abuja.

While Akinlade left for a little-known Allied People’s Movement (APM), Ajanah defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Salisu joined the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

The opposition PDP also lost one member Rabiu Kaugama who also defected to the SDP.

In July, 37 members of the House of Representatives left the ruling party for various parties, with the PDP getting the largest number of defectors.

On Nov. 6, four more parliamentarians defected to the opposition parties.

Formed in 2013, the APC was the first Nigeria’s opposition party to unseat the ruling party (PDP) which had governed the country since 1999.

The APC now faces a herculean task of retaining the presidency in next year's poll as incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari faces a tough reelection battle in February.