Fred Itua, Abuja
Former Senate minority leader, Godwill Akpabio, has said he and the Senate President Bukola Saraki are as guilty as others, as far as recent defections of lawmakers from one political party to the other is concerned.
At the weekend, one of the national dailies, reported that Saraki was planning to declare Akpabio’s seat vacant as senator representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District, in line with provisions of section 68 (1g) of the 1999 Constitution.
The section specifies that a lawmaker can only defect from the party upon which he won election into the parliament to another party, if there is a division in the party down the line, a provision Akpabio, according to the report, did not meet before defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress ( APC) last week.
But reacting to the report yesterday, in a chat with journalists, Akpabio said the move, as far as he was concerned, was a rumour. He added that even if it was true, other senators who defected from APC to PDP are also guilty of the same offence “because APC is also a united party without any division.”
He said he is not perturbed at all about the report and the rumoured move since all defectors are involved.
“As you are looking at me, do I look perturbed? I’ve not heard the report. The reason I think that is a rumour is that there is, at the moment, no division in the APC. The APC is one family. If you hear about R-APC, that was not really a division and it has even been consumed in what they call Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).
“So, there is no division in APC as they are saying there is no division in PDP, and so, any defection from APC to PDP should also attract the treatment of declaration of seats vacant,” he said.
He, however, dismissed the alleged move being made by the leadership of the APC to impeach Saraki through senators elected on the platform of the party. He said such a move or plot is not known to him.
He said: “I just came in from Ikot-Ekpene, where I decided, with my people, to join APC. I’m yet to be briefed on any of those items. I have not heard anything of such from anybody.