The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has formally announced his departure from Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, made a similar announcement at about the same time.
Mr Saraki made his announcement on his official social media handles.
“I wish to inform Nigerians that, after extensive consultations, I have decided to take my leave of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” he wrote on his Twitter handle.
I wish to inform Nigerians that, after extensive consultations, I have decided to take my leave of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
— Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki) July 31, 2018
Nigerians have largely expected Mr. Saraki’s defection from especially after all the federal lawmakers from his Kwara State left the APC last week.
The Senate President is expected to join the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Governor Ahmed, Mr Saraki’s political ally, also defected to the PDP.
A statement by his media aide, Muyideen Akorede, said the decision followed consultations with people in the state.
“Following due consultations with the people and in response to calls by major stakeholder groups in the state, Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed today defected to the People’s Democratic Party(PDP), having realized that the All Progressive Congress (APC) can longer serve as a platform for achieving the aspirations and expectations of his people,” the statement said.
Mr. Saraki joined the APC on January 29, 2014 after falling out with the then PDP government, led by President Goodluck Jonathan.
He was among 11 PDP senators of the period who informed the Senate of their departure from the PDP on that date.
Two months before then – November 2013 – Governor Ahmed, alongside four other then PDP governors defected to the APC. They were Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Rabi’u Kwankwaso (Kano).
Mr. Kwankwaso, now a senator, has also since returned to the PDP.