Controversy broke out among senators of the two major parties on Wednesday following the defection of Senator Ibrahim Danbaba representing Sokoto south from the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) to All Progressive Congress, (APC).

Danbaba, in a letter addressed to the Senate President and read at plenary had said he was leaving the PDP that sponsored his election to the upper legislative chamber.

He said “I write to formally inform you and my distinguished colleagues of my decision to join the APC from the PDP”.

However, he went further to say his decision was “anchored on the continuing and multifaceted crises that have bedeviled the PDP, especially at the zonal level, which has created, not only credibility problem, but has undermined party discipline, cohesion and focus”.

He went on to say “the situation at the state level has not helped matters either as depicted by lack of political sanity, focus and credible leadership.

“I have in APC a political ideology in consonance with my personal political philosophy. This ideology is also best suited to meet the expectations and aspirations of my constituents”.

This assertion by Senator Danbaba, who was the Deputy Minority Whip, did not go down well with the PDP senators. The Senate Minority Whip, Philip Aduda could not hide his disgust at the choice of words by Danbaba in his letter read by Ahmad Lawan, Senate President.

Aduda, who came under Senate Oder 42 (personal explanation), said “my immediate former Deputy Senate Minority Whip, Danbaba has alluded to the fact that there are crises in the North west region of the PDP and also said there was crisis in the state chapter of the party. I want to say there are no crises in the PDP in the North west or the state chapter.

“His might be personal, otherwise there are no crises in PDP. I want the general public to take note.”

However, Senator Uche Ekwunife roundly called on Danbaba to relinquish his seat in accordance with section 68 (g) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended, which says if a person whose election to a particular position by a political party becomes a member of another party before the expiration of the term for which he was elected should relinquish his seat, provided that the defection of the person is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously sponsored.

At this point, she was interrupted by the Senate President who said Ekwunife had finished even though she vehemently protested that she had not finished.

“I want to advise you that some of this things you have said should not be recorded” so that one day you will stand up there and say that you want to move to this side (defect) and all those things you have said will come back to hunt you, Lawan said.

On the issue of section 68 (g) of the constitution, Lawan said “we are at liberty, as elected by the people, when our parties are torn into pieces and there are factions being such irredeemable and destructive crises, we are free to leave”.

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