Nigeria’s senate chief, governor quit ruling APC party

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) – The President of the Senate of Nigeria announced his resignation from the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) party on Tuesday, amid a deep-seated crisis of confidence between his camp and the party.

“I wish to inform Nigerians that, after extensive consultations, I have decided to take my leave of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” Bukola Saraki tweeted following months of a cat-and-mouse relationship with the party.

His resignation came a day after APC headquarters dismissed all party officials loyal to Saraki in north-central Kwara State for their alleged double-dealing and anti-party activities. .

The state governor Abdulfattah Ahmed, a protégé of Saraki, also announced his defection from the ruling party to the opposite one.

“Following due consultations with the people and in response to calls by major stakeholder groups in the state, Governor Ahmed today defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), having realized that the APC can longer serve as a platform for achieving the aspirations and expectations of his people,” according to a terse statement from his office.

The exits come a week after more than 50 federal lawmakers, many from Kwara State, defected from the APC in an exodus some analysts fear may affect the party’s chances in next year's polls.

President Muhammadu Buhari called the defections a routine development in every election year, and said many of the defectors had issues with political arrangements of their constituencies such as reelection matters.