The All Progressives Congress, National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has said that Nigerians will defend their democracy, saying that if there was any thing such as coup in Nigeria ‘it is clear to everyone that Nigerians will defend their own democracy.
’Abdullahi Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi reacting the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai’s alarm that some individuals were approaching some Army officers and soldiers for undisclosed political reasons, said “We have hesitated to react so far because we think that the house belongs to us so we wanted to wait for Nigerians to react and Nigerians have reacted.
“If there was any such thing in the offing, I think it is clear to everyone that Nigerians will defend their own democracy.” Recall that the Army through Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, Director Army Public Relations, had said that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Nigerian Army, Lieutenant General TY Buratai, received information that some individuals were approaching some officers and soldiers for undisclosed political reasons. Hence Buratai warned that such persons desist from these acts.
He went further to say that the Nigerian Army is a thorough professional, disciplined, loyal and apolitical institution that has clear Constitutional roles and responsibilities and therefore warned and advised all officers and soldiers interested in politics, to resign their commission or apply for voluntary discharge forthwith.
This came as the numerical strength of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives was depleted on Wednesday as a member, Rep. Edward Pwajok, defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). In his defection letter read by the Speaker of the house, Mr Yakubu Dogara, during plenary, Pwajok said he was leaving the PDP due to the crisis in the party.
According to him, there are many divisions in PDP, from national level between Sheriff and Makarfi factions to Plateau, between Badung and Sango factions. In a swift reaction, the Minority Leader of the House, Mr Leo Ogor (Delta-PDP), raised a point of order to fault Pwajok’s claim that the PDP was factionalised. He said that going by the Appeal Court’s judgment, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff is the National Chairman of the PDP. Ogor, therefore, urged Pwajok to vacate his seat. “We are presently in court and you are aware that Sheriff is the chairman of the party.
“I find it totally unacceptable and we demand that Pwajok vacates his seat,” he said. But, welcoming Pwajok to APC, the Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos-APC), urged more PDP legislators to capitalise on the crisis within the party to cross over to the ruling party. In his remarks, Dogara said that the legality of Pwajok’s defection would be left for the court to decide. Plateau Governor, Mr Simon Lalong, who was at the chamber to witness the defection, later told newsmen that Pwajok’s defection would open the floodgate for other PDP legislators from the state to join APC.
Lalong said that some other PDP legislators in the state were ready to move to the APC. Also speaking to newsmen, Pwajok said that he was ready for the PDP if the party approached the court over the matter. He said, “Section 68 (1) (d) of the 1999 Constitution is clear that where there are divisions in a party, a member can defect to another party.