A federal lawmaker, Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central), has advised the federal government on how defectors from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) should be treated.
The senator took to his Facebook page in the early hours of Wednesday to stress the need for both the ruling party and the opposition party to maintain a harmonious relationship.
The senator wrote as follows:
“In view of the current reality, It’s possible to have a harmonious working relationship between the parliament led by the opposition, and the presidency led by the ruling party, in the remaining lifespan of this political dispensation, if the following rules are kept by both sides.
1. Both sides must put the interest of the country first.
2. The Executive should respect the decision of those who chose to defect, maintain a cordial relationship with them and never attempt to persecute any of them for their individual political decisions.
3. The Parliament led by the opposition must not be a stumbling block for Government policies and programmes and the person of the president and his office must be accorded the highest respect it deserves.
4. All Inflammatory statements and plots from both sides must cease.
5. Both sides should be committed to working towards addressing the nation’s chronic security challenges and the success of the upcoming national elections.”
Mr Sani was amongst those expected to join a wave of defection that hit the APC last week, having made several categorical statements that suggested the move was imminent.
At least 14 senators and 37 House of Representatives announced their exit from the APC at the parliament last week. While most of those who severed ties with the ruling party joined the PDP, Nigeria’s main opposition entity, at least one senator and four House members moved to other political parties, especially the African Democratic Congress.
On Tuesday, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, made a formal announcement of his exit from the APC to join the PDP. In a statement he later released, he accused influential persons of the APC of intolerance and causing his exit.
“While I take full responsibility for this decision, I will like to emphasise that it is a decision that has been inescapably imposed on me by certain elements and forces within the APC who have ensured that the minimum conditions for peace, cooperation, inclusion and a general sense of belonging did not exist,” he said.
While some other senators who were expected to decamp also failed to do so on Tuesday, it was Mr Sani’s non-defection that drew the most insinuations from Nigerians.
Mr Sani later told PREMIUM TIMES that ex-Kaduna governor Balarabe Musa, APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole and party leader, Bola Tinubu, were among those who persuaded him not to leave the APC for the main opposition party, PDP.
Mr Sani’s confrontation with his state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, is one of the most virulent rivalry in this political dispensation despite both men belonging to the APC. The politicians snapped at each other shortly after settling down in their respective offices after their 2015 election.