Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, at the plenary on Tuesday officially announced his defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
Dogara, along with President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, had defected since July 2018 without announcing their defections on the floors of House of Representatives and the Senate.
Both leaders of the National Assembly have since been involved in the activities of the PDP, including the campaign of its presidential candidate, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
At the sitting on Tuesday, Dogara had earlier read a letter of defection from a member, Ahmed Yeriba.
“I, Honourable Ahmed Yeriba, wish to inform the House of Representatives that I am no longer a member of the All Progressives Congress with effect from September 2018. Kindly take note and effect the correction,” he had read.
Dogara then read his own letter, in which he said he and his constituents had lost confidence in the APC over alleged undemocratic practices in the ruling party.
He said, “In May 2017, I formally joined the APC consequent upon the crisis that afflicted the PDP, leading to the creation of factions which negatively affected me. Subsequent to my defection, the Supreme Court declared that there was no faction in the PDP.
“The party has since rebranded itself in a credible and transparent manner it has been conducting its affairs. However, the APC which I joined has lost the confidence of my constituents and indeed the people of my state by the undemocratic manner it conducts its affairs. Space will not allow me to table the misgivings my constituents and I have against the APC.
“Accordingly, this is to formally inform you that I have since gone back to the party under whose platform I was elected to the House, and which has articulated a clear programme to rescue Nigeria — that is the PDP.”
Noting the suspense the announcement was creating in the chamber, the Speaker added, “The last one (letter) is from me. My name is Yakubu Dogara.”
Lawmakers elected on the platform of the PDP went into a wild jubilation, singing a solidarity song.