By Chioma Ugboma
Lagos – The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Diaspora on Thursday urged members of the party not to panic over the recent defection of some of its members, insisting “it will not affect the party in 2019.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that 37 members of the House of Representatives and 14 senators of the APC on July 25, defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the African Democratic Congress (ADC).
In a statement made available to NAN in Lagos by the spokesman of the APC Diaspora Chairmen Forum, Mr Ayoola Lawal, the group reaffirmed its support for the party.
According to him, leaders of the APC in Diaspora have followed events happening in our party over the past days very closely and have come to the conclusion that it is not a time to panic but time to reaffirm our support for the leadership of our party.
“For sure, no political party likes to lose members, especially those voted into government at any level on the platform of the party.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this is their democratic rights that cannot be taken from them and must be protected under our laws” the group said.
It, however, called for the immediate invocation of the relevant laws and statute regarding defection from one party to another, namely the declaration of the seats of the defected members’ seats vacant.
“This will allow for the will of the people to be expressed in choosing new representation at the National assembly.
“This is an appropriate step to strengthen our democracy and re-establish confidence in our politics and the national assembly.
“We call on our party leaders to continue with the brave inward and outward looking processes they have deployed since coming into offices.
“We salute the courage of our national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole for his clear and unambiguous declarations regarding our party’s ideology, the supremacy of the party and the need to make this APC government an APC government in name and its operators.
According to him, this is what and how it should be, as we have repeatedly stated that it is an alien act in multiparty democracy to have a party in government but with opposition party members filling up most arms of the government” it further said.
The APC in Diaspora, however, urged all members the party to stand up for the values and promises of the party, to give Nigerians a “New party for a New Nigerian”.
“Our view is that the present happenings are part of a cleansing process that will eventually bring the best out of our party and government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Rather than navel gaze and indulge in self-pity, we encourage a conscious re-awakening and stepping out to campaign aggressively on the basis of our ideology and the significant impact this government has made in diverse areas.
“Let us commit to take our party’s message of change; change in our habits, change in our politics and change in our attitude to government and governance for a greater, more prosperous and socially just Nigeria to the electorate,” it added.