The Senator representing Oyo South senatorial district, Soji Akanbi, has distanced himself from the defecting senators, claiming he was still a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Akanbi’s name was listed among the 14 senators who left APC for PDP Tuesday morning.
Akanbi said while addressing journalists shortly after plenary on Tuesday that he remains ”a bona fide member of the APC”.
Akanbi said his name was wrongly included in the list.
“Initially today, my name was wrongly mentioned in the list of the people that defected to PDP. A point of order was raised. I was able to clear my name that I have never been part of defection from APC to PDP. I remain bona fide member of APC.”
He showed journalists the votes and proceedings of the day to confirm his name is not on the list.
“This is the votes and proceedings of Tuesday 24 July 2018 and my name is not listed on the list of defectors. I remain a bona fide, committed, unrepentant member of APC. I’m here to put the record to order.”
He added that his name might have been added to the list of defectors because of the crisis in Oyo APC.
“There is this rumour or speculation when you have ambition, declared or undeclared ambition that you are having crisis in your state with your governor. So, they assumed that having crisis with your governor, automatically (means) you will leave the party.
“I am using this medium to say once again that in Oyo State, I don’t have crisis with my governor,” he added.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his total commitment to the values of democracy, freedom of choice as well as willingness to work with all members of the National Assembly, irrespective of their political party, while wishing the defecting lawmakers “best in their future undertakings”.
In his reaction to the developments on Tuesday morning at the National Assembly where lawmakers from his party defected, the President noted that none of the defecting federal lawmakers of the APC had any specific grievances against him or the government he leads; ”neither did he harbour anything against any of them.”
“As the saying goes, all politics is local. We understand that some of the distinguished and honourable lawmakers have issues with their home states, especially on zoning which bars some of them from seeking another term in their constituencies,” he said.
Noting that the APC had done its utmost to stop the defections, the President commended the leadership of the party for relentlessly working for its unity and ensuring success in the upcoming elections.
President Buhari assured members of the APC of his total support and urged party faithful ”not to despair but to see the defections as a seasonal occurrence that happens on election eve”.
He expressed confidence that no harm or injury will be done to the party and its aspirations by the movements.