Two members of the Action Alliance in the House of Representatives, Messrs Pascal Obi and Kingsley Uju have defected to the ruling All progressive congress (APC).
The Imo lawmakers whose defection was announced by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila during a plenary gave an incessant intra-party squabble within the AA as the reason for their defection to the APC.
There was, however, a mild drama as the House Minority Leader, Mr Tony Elumelu kicked against the decision by the lawmakers on the basis that it ran contrary to Section 68 of the 1999 constitution as amended.
Elumelu claimed that he was not aware of any crises in the AA, urged the Speaker to declare the lawmakers’ seats vacant over their decision to dump the AA which sponsored them to the lower legislative chamber in the 2019 poll.
He was promptly ruled out of order by Gbajabiamila, who argued that “There is something in law called locus. My question to you is this, are you a member of AA? You are the Minority Leader, you are a member of PDP, as minority leader you are not automatically a member of AA.
“So you have no locus. If you go to court and I’m saying the matter can be interpreted in court, but unfortunately you cannot go to court because you are not aggrieved. You do not have locus standi. Unfortunately, your point of order is out of order.”
The lawmakers who later spoke to reporters argued that their decision was in the best interest of their constituents who all along belonged to the APC.
Uju, representing Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta/Oru West of Imo State, believed their defection into the APC would boost the chances of the South-East geopolitical zone to aspire for the presidency of the country in the 2023 poll.
“The clamour may be one of the reasons the party is getting stronger and stronger in the zone. We are here to strengthen the party,” Uju said. “Politics is a quantitative and qualitative game. Success in politics means electoral victory and dividend of democracy.
“What we have just done is to key into what is happening at the centre. The people of our areas have suffered so many challenges. The good thing is that the APC has recaptured Imo state and will capture more states. From there, the journey begins. We have left Egypt and are heading to the promised land.”