As the gale of defection continues to hit the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, unabated, two members of the House of Representatives, elected on its platform from Cross River State, Hons Legor Idagbo and Michael Etaba have defected to the All Progressive Congress, APC.
Notifying the House of Representatives of their defection in separate letters addressed to the House and read by the Speaker, Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila at plenary on Tuesday, the two lawmakers cited the crisis rocking the PDP leadership in their state as the reason for their defection to the APC.
However, the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon Toby Okechukwu, PDP-Enugu, urged the Speaker to declare their seats vacant in line with section 68 of the 1999 Constitution.
Okechukwu said that a lawmaker elected on a platform of a political party, can only defect to another when there was crisis in the party, noting that there was no crisis in the PDP; insisting that the seats of the defectors be declared vacant.
But in his ruling, Gbajabiamila said that the fact that the defecting lawmakers said there was crisis in the PDP showed that there was a division in the party, saying that the point raised by the Okechukwu was noted and continued with the proceeding of the day.
Recall that Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade had earlier defected from the PDP to the APC.
Ayade said that the reason for his defection was to join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari to build a nation “we will all be proud of.”