By Abiemwense Moru
Abuja – There was a heated debate on the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday as two lawmakers from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) defected to the governing All Progressive Congress (APC).
The lawmakers are; Reps. Salomi Zafaria who represents AMAC/Bwari Federal Constituency of the FCT and Ahmed Tijani who represents Okene/Ogori-Magogo Federal Constituency of Kogi.
In separate letters addressed to Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, the lawmakers claimed they defected because of the leadership crisis that rocked PDP in recent times.
The development led to loud protest from the PDP lawmakers with the Deputy Minority Whip, Mr Yakubu Barde, in a point of order, calling for the vacation of the seats of the two defected lawmakers.
According to Barde, the leadership tussle in the party has been settled by the Supreme Court, adding that the two lawmakers have no grounds for their defection.
Barde cited Section 68 of the 1999 Constitution which states that a legislator will automatically vacate his/her seat if he/she leaves his/her political party without division.
Ruling on the matter, Dogara said the division in a party was not pronounced in the Constitution, adding that lawmakers could be prohibited from defecting.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the latest development has brought to five the number of representatives that so far defected in 2017.
Reps. Edward Pwajok from Plateau, Hassan Saleh from Benue and Adamu Kamale from Adamawa had earlier defected. (NAN)