The ranks of the Peoples Democratic Party in the House of
Representatives further depleted on Wednesday as eight more members defected from the majority party.
Four of the defectors joined the rival All Progressives Congress.
The All Progressives Grand Alliance gained two of the defectors, while the Peoples Democratic Movement and the Social Democratic Party each gained one, bringing the total PDP defectors on Wednesday to eight.
All the members either cited dissatisfaction with the conduct of the party’s last primaries or divisions in its fold as reasons for their decision to abandon the PDP.
The four who defected to APC were Garba Ulma, Zakari Ibrahim, Ibrahim Kamba and Abdulmalik Cheche.
Wilson Nathaniel joined the SDP, while Tony Madwatte and Nwogbo defected to PDM and APGA respectively.
Another member, Mr. Benjamin Aboho, defected to APGA, while Mr. Forte Dike left APGA for APC.
Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Victor Ogene, also made his defection from APGA to the APC official on Wednesday.
By Ogene’s defection, both the chairman (Mr. Zakari Mohammed) and deputy chairman of the House committee on Media and Public Affairs are now members of the APC.
The party alone gained six out of the total of 10 lawmakers, who changed political parties on Wednesday.
The defection reduced the numerical strength of the PDP to around 182 members, while the APC rose from about 154 to 158 members.
The SDP suddenly jumped to the third largest party in the House with 10 members.
Labour Party has about three members, while APGA has two members and Accord Party, one.
Meanwhile, the House further amended the Electoral Act 2010 on Wednesday to make a provision empowering the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure that Internally Displaced Persons would vote at elections held during emergencies.
The amendment to the Act, which passed third reading on Wednesday, was a response to INEC’s stance that there was no legal backing for it to guarantee voting opportunities for the IDPS during next month’s general elections.
The amendment added a new clause to the existing Section 26 of the Principal Act, giving INEC powers to make provision for the voting rights of the IDPs.
It was proposed by a PDP lawmaker from Taraba State, Mr. Albert Tsam-Tsokwa.
The amendment received unanimous approval by members and was passed along with the new Electoral Act.
However, the House and the Senate will still meet in conference to harmonise any differences that may appear in their respective versions of the new law.