Nigeria’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday secured a big win over its rival in the House of Representatives, the All Progressives Congress, APC, staging a forceful reclaim of the majority the opposition party took more than a month ago.
Five APC members announced their defection to the PDP Tuesday, while only one lawmaker moved from APC to PDP, giving a fair lead to the PDP that had earlier won an edge last week.
On Tuesday, Ladan Bichi (Kano), Abdulsalam Adamu (Kano), Sani Galadinma (Zamfara), Ibrahim Gusau (Zamfara) and Umar Bature (Sokoto) said they were decamping from the APC to PDP; while Isa Ashiru, who represents Kaduna State, decamped from the PDP to APC.
The PDP now leads the House with between 178 and 179 members, while the APC drops to between 167 and 168 members. Official figures of the 360-member House are yet to be announced. Other parties with fewer members in the House include the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA; Labour Party, LP; and Accord Party.
The margin between Nigeria’s two largest parties would be the widest yet since dozens of lawmakers, moving from the PDP to APC, staged the first in a series of defections in the House last December.
The legislators cited the PDP’s intractable crises, and pushed the APC into a slim lead over the PDP, the first time an opposition party would be in majority in any of the two houses of parliament, since 1999.
Since then, the numbers have continued to shift with more members declaring for either of the two parties ahead of general elections in 2015.
But Tuesday’s defections gave the PDP a fairly firm control, amid expectations the figures could still change in favour of any of the parties as more members plan to switch sides.
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