The All Progressives Congress, APC,in a last minute desperate effort to win back most of its members at the national assembly has offered its aggrieved members automatic tickets in their constituencies in hopes to stop the impending defection of the lawmakers from the party .
This offer has become necessary to scuttle the planned mass defection of the legislators from joining the earlier group of defectors, r-APC, which has been slated for the floor of the National Assembly on Thursday.
Investigations by our correspondents on Saturday showed that aggrieved APC senators and members of the House of Representatives were determined to formally announce their defection before the National Assembly goes on its eight – week recess on Thursday.
It was gathered that the lawmakers would like to take a final decision on their continued membership of the APC this week to be sure of the platform on which they would contest the 2019 elections.
Primaries of most of the political parties will hold between August and September , a period the National Assembly may still be on vacation.
It was learnt that the only thing that could prevent the defection of the lawmakers was the ongoing negotiation between the APC and the leadership of the Reformed APC.
It was also gathered that the aggrieved lawmakers in the R -APC would hold a make-or-mar meeting with their leaders on Tuesday where a final decision on the planned defection would be taken .
A senator , who spoke on condition of anonymity to Sunday Punch said the proposed mass defection from the APC at the National Assembly was scheduled for the last day of the session to manage the tension that would likely follow the announcement.
He said what could stop the mass defection on Thursday was the automatic ticket the APC was offering the lawmakers . The lawmakers , it was gathered, had insisted that the APC must put the offer in writing .
Asked to confirm the Thursday declaration of the defection, the senator said , “ It is true. It is most likely on Thursday , but I can assure you that if the APC gives Saraki and the rest of us letters (on automatic tickets ) , that is all (about the planned defection). ”
It is also the same scenario playing out in the House of Representatives , investigations showed that members were waiting for the outcome of the ongoing negotiations between the leadership of the R – APC and the APC National Working Committee before taking a final decision on whether to defect on Thursday or not .
It was gathered that one of the issues on offer was the automatic tickets for the lawmakers in the 2019 elections.
One of the members said , “ Nothing has been concretised , but I will say there have been talks , including the offer of automatic tickets . ”
Another member also speaking on the grounds of anonymity reveals that the R – APC lawmakers were expecting to be briefed on Tuesday by their leaders to decide on the way forward .
“ Our plan to defect has not changed . But our leaders are in talks with them ( APC) and we are patiently waiting . ”
We have not shelved defection plan – Atunwa
But a key member of the factional group and Chairman , House Committee on Justice , Mr. Razak Atunwa , told SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday that members were ready to accept any offer that would ensure “ justice for all at the end of the day. ”
Atunwa , like others, confirmed that the group had not shelved the defection plan , but admitted that members were also ready to accept offers that would treat all parties as equals.
The lawmaker from Kwara and an ally of Senate President Bukola Saraki, added , “In politics , you never say never . I am aware that a lot of negotiations have been going on.
“ Right now , there is no justice . If the ( offer) doesn’t lead to justice , we will go ahead and do what is okay for us in the week . ”