The Labour Party (LP) on Wednesday, recorded its first seat in the National Assembly, as two more senators resigned from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in messages monitored by NjenjeMediaNews on June 22, 2022
The defection of the two senators was disclosed in separate letters read by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary on Wednesday.
The Senator representing Imo East, Ezenwa Francis Onyewuchi, who was elected under the PDP, became the first LP lawmaker following his defection to the party.
Onyewuchi said that his defection to the LP would enable him to participate fully in the “new Nigeria movement.”
“I wish to inform Mr President and distinguished senators of my defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the Labour Party.
“This is after due consultation with my family, constituents and supporters. This will enable me to participate fully in the movement for a new Nigeria”, Onyewuchi said in the letter.
Also on Wednesday, Haliru Jika, the senator who represents Bauchi Central senatorial district, joined the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
His official announcement was contained in a letter addressed to and read out by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at the start of plenary on Wednesday.
“I hereby wish to notify you of my defection from the APC to the NNPP whose ideals is in line with my political aspirations”, he simply said in his letter.
Jika was elected on the platform of the APC. He cited injustice and lack of equity in his former party as reasons for his defection.
These defections come barely 24 hours after the Senate President announced the defections of three senators – Francis Alimekhena (Edo North) and Babba Kaita (APC, Katsina North) who defected from the APC to the PDP and Lawal Gumau (Bauchi South) who left the APC to the NNPP.
Although the lawmakers had defected weeks ago, their letters were read out at the start of plenary on Wednesday.
The latest defections also come about a week after Mr Lawan read out similar defection letters from the former Senate leader, Yahaya Abdullahi and Adamu Aliero – both from Kebbi State.
The duo had cited crisis in the party as their reasons for leaving, but also accused the state governor, Atiku Bagudu, of frustrating the efforts of party members in the state.
Former Deputy Chief of Staff, Imo State Government House, Mr. Chikwem Onuoha, said the people of Imo people are tired of the misrule of both APC and PDP, stressing that time has come to try new leaders.
Onuoha, who spoke when APC and PDP leaders in Imo North Senatorial District moved their political structures into LP, said from now on their loyalty and support is for LP and its presidential candidate, Obi.
At the reception held at Umuaro Community, Isiala Mbano Local Government Council, the former Deputy Chief of Staff regretted that APC and PDP have subjected citizens to untold hardship, insisting, “We need someone to rescue the country if we must progress as a nation.”
He said the decision by APC and PDP former members to move en mass to LP was informed by the need to ensure that Nigeria was saved from the misrule of the past 23 years by the two political parties.
While remarking that Obi’s vision for a new Nigeria resonates with Imo people, Onuoha declared: “Today, APC and PDP have died in Okigwe zone, we have resolved to collapse our structures in the zone into LP and work for the Obi’s victory. Obi is a symbol of hope for ordinary Nigerians.
The mass defection in Imo North Senatorial District seems to have been propelled by the crossover of the Senator representing Imo East in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly, Ezenwa Onyewuchi from PDP to LP.
Onyewuchi, who became the first and only LP Senator in the country, made history when he wrote to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, intimating him of his desire to join the comparatively smaller party from PDP.
As the wind of change continues to sweep across Imo State, the President General of Okigwe North Youth Progressives Forum (ONYPF), Chidimma Onyenagubo, explained that the forum was mobilising its members and eligible voters in the area to ensure that they register and obtain their permanent voter cards to be able to affect leadership change in the state by voting LP.