By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja – The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiohmole, says many of the members of the National Assembly who defected from the APC to other opposition parties are `victims of disinformation’.
Oshiohmole stated this when he addressed State House correspondents at the end of a meeting between APC Senators and President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday night.
The APC leader noted that the party had maintained its majority positions at both chambers of the National Assembly in spite the defections.
He, however, warned that APC and the Buhari administration would not be intimidated or distracted from delivering on its mandates to the Nigerians.
“The Senators have come in huge numbers as the Senate leader had earlier said, namely that APC remains the party with the highest number of senators in the senate and in the House of Representatives. So, that fact has been reaffirmed.
“Number two, we still have what it takes to continue to provide good governance for Nigerians.
“Number three, those people who had left, many of them were victims of disinformation.
“I think there was a clear attempt by a few who have the agenda to try and play up fears and then seek to profit from those fears by spreading disinformation in the manner that they did.
But like everything that is not based on truth, overtime truth emerges and people who were victims of disinformation retrieve their steps which is why a senator from Ogun has already returned to the fold.
“I’m sure more and more who left out of confusion and who were misled I believe they will come back.
“But much more importantly is that we have agreed that going forward this party cannot be intimidated, the government will not be intimidated, it cannot be distracted, we remain focused, we remain committed to addressing those critical challenges that confront our country – security, economy and fighting corruption.’’
He commended the APC Senators who had come to reassure the president of their full backing in pursuance of these three core commitments “which we made to the Nigerian people and for me as chairman I’m very excited.’’
He, therefore, reiterated the President’s commitments and determination to address the socio-economic challenges facing the country.
The Senate leader, Ahmad Lawan, who also spoke to the correspondents, said they briefed the president on currents developments at the senate.
“We informed him of what happened at the Senate, we informed him of how we stand in the senate
“As of today, the senate APC caucus is 53 in number, follows by the other minority parties with PDP being the largest minority with 48 senators and then the ADC with two senators, APGA with two senators.
“We have two vacant seats which were occupied by two APC senators; they are late now – Senators Mustapha Bukar from Katsina and Ali Wakili from Bauchi of blessed memory.
“There would be elections into those two vacant seats by Aug. 11 and by the special grace of God APC would retain those seats and that would take our majority to 55,’’ he said.
Lawan disclosed that the APC leadership had also commenced discussions with some of the defected senators with a view to bringing them back to the party.
He said that other senators from the opposition parties had also signified their intention to defect to APC.
He said: “But let me also say that even from yesterday (Tuesday), less than 24 hours into the defections, we had discussions with some of our colleagues who defected and they have shown their willingness, interest and readiness to retrieve their steps.
“So, we are working very hard with our national leadership led by the very hard working former Gov. Adams Oshiohmole to ensure reengage with our colleagues that defected, that will listen and that we reach some understanding and resolutions that would enable them to come home very soon.’’