“Many are mad and many are roaming on social media.”
Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate, Ibrahim Danbaba, has decamped from the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The lawmaker’s decision to join the APC was conveyed in a letter read at the start of plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday.
Danbaba, who represents Sokoto South in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, was nominated by the PDP on July 15, 2022, for the position of Deputy Minority Whip, following the defection of the former Deputy Whip, Senator Sahabi Alhaji Ya’u, representing Zamfara North from the PDP to the APC.
Danbaba’s defection brings the total number of APC Senators in the upper chamber to 71, and PDP 37.
The lawmaker, in his letter, explained that his decision to leave the PDP was informed by the lingering and multifaceted crisis at the zonal level.
Senator Danbaba’s letter reads, “I write to formally inform you and distinguished colleagues of my decision to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“My decision is anchored on the continuing multifaceted crises that have bedeviled the PDP, especially at the zonal level which has created not only credibility problems, but has undermined party discipline, cohesion and focus.
“The situation at the state level has not helped matters either as depicted by lack of political sanity, focus and credible leadership.
“I have in APC, the political ideology in consonance with my personal political philosophy. This Ideology also seems the best suited to meet the expectations and aspirations of my constituents.
“While thanking you, Mr. President, please, accept the assurances of my highest consideration.”
Attempts by Senators Philip Aduda (PDP, FCT) and Lilian Uche Ekwunife (PDP, Anambra Central), to rely on point of orders to stop Danbaba’s defection were unsuccessful as the Senate President ruled them out of order.
Senate Ekwunife, while relying on the provisions of Section 68(g) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), requested that Danbaba’s seat be declared vacant.
The Senate President, however, ruled her out of order, explaining that the reasons advanced by Senator Danbaba were valid and excusable under the law.
Political thugs allegedly working for the Rivers state governor, Mr Nyesom Wike have invaded the residence of former Rivers South-East Senator, Lee Maeba.
The house located at GRA, Phase 3 axis in Port Harcourt, Rivers State was invaded by thugs on Thursday morning.
Maeba is the chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in the state.
A source said the hoodlums, allegedly loyal to Governor Wike, destroyed many cars, including an SUV, while occupants of the house including Senator Maeba’s relations fled the scene.
It was learnt that the hoodlums also shot indiscriminately and injured some occupants of the building during the attack.
“About 200 hoodlums loyal to Governor Wike attacked the residence of Senator Lee Maeba this morning. They destroyed vehicles and injured some occupants,” the source said.
Since Governor Wike lost the presidential ticket of the party to the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the party has been factionalised.
This followed allegations made by the governor that the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu manipulated the process to favour Atiku, a fellow northerner.
He subsequently asked Ayu to resign from office but the national chairman has refused to do so amid the attendant crisis in the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The Wike-led Rivers government earlier revoked the ownership of a landed property belonging to Maeba in Port Harcourt.
When contacted, DSP Grace Woyengikuro Iringe-Koko, spokesperson for the state police command said she wasn’t aware of the incident.
Nollywood actress, Mercy Johnson-Okojie, caused a stir on the Internet when she openly declared her support for the All Progressives Congress and its candidates in the 2023 elections.
The actress had on Wednesday shared pictures of herself with the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, announcing her membership as part of the APC women presidential campaign team.
Her husband, Odi Okojie, is also an APC candidate for the Esan North East/ South East federal constituency in Edo State.
Sharing the photos from the campaign, the actress wrote, “Earlier today, I joined His Excellency, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the incredible women leaders that make up the APC ‘Women Presidential Campaign Team’ at the APC women Southwest Rally.
“As a woman, wife to an APC candidate @princeodiokojie and mother, I am confident in the APC plan for women which is in line with the 35% affirmative action for women.
“From the goodwill messages and conversations with the women leaders, I was opportuned to hear from the horse’s mouth and I have renewed hope and confidence in the good intentions, great plans and actions to follow for the women of Nigeria and for the people of Nigeria.”
Her post, however, did not go down well with many fans who took to Twitter to condemn the actress’ decision, making ‘Mercy Johnson’ one of the trending topics on Thursday.
A tweep, @odyloveth, said, “End Sars – Mercy Johnson will not talk. Flood in her state that half of her community people were dying, she was mute. Police brutality, she will not talk.
“Today Mercy Johnson is telling us that APC have plans for us in 2023. I blame those rating these celebrities.”
Advising the actress to focus only on her husband, @eseohe_k tweeted, “No one is saying Mercy Johnson shouldn’t support her husband’s political career. She should not just try to sell APC to us. Campaign for your husband alone. Talking about ‘as a woman, I’m confident in the APC plan for women’.”
However, some fans stated that the actress was free to support whoever she wanted to, as they justified her actions.
@isaacafrica_ said, “While I’m for Peter Obi, I wouldn’t expect Mercy Johnson to support a party other than her husband’s. It’s one of the reasons her marriage works.
“This isn’t about party affiliation. It’s about who’s working in the best interest of Nigerians. Why can’t she be light within APC?”
Another tweep, @mrlurvy, said, “Mercy Johnson’s husband is flying the flag of the APC in his constituency. But you expect Mercy to support another party right? So that she can get retweets and likes?
“Many are mad and many are roaming on social media.”
All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said he is ready to debate from morning till night.
Tinubu has been heavily criticised for staying away from interactive sessions attended by other presidential candidates.
His absence at ARISE Townhall on Sunday had created a stir as his critics said Tinubu might have stayed away because he could not withstand the rigor.
The main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had accused him of avoiding debates because he has nothing to tell Nigerians.
But addressing some young Nigerians in London, Tinubu said debate was not an issue.
“I am ready to debate with you from morning till night… and I’m speaking in London, not in Jigawa. It is great that you are alive to tell the story just giving the assurance never to give up… Broadband creation, energy that you talked about.. if they’ve taken our advice.. in the beginning of democracy in 1999, we brought in investment. My Deputy then is here.. and then so many other innovative things….,” he said.
Fielding a question from the audience at Chatham House in London on Monday, on why he snubbed debates, Tinubu said, “I see myself as a marketable individual. You want to use me to make money and I’m saying no.”
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