THE rank and file the Peoples Democratic Party in Plateau State were shocked on Tuesday, following the defection of the deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Honourable Yusuf Gardi and Honourable Daniel Nanlong from the party to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The development came about a month after a former governor of the State Joshua Dariye now a serving Senator representing Plateau Central and his followers dumped PDP for the governing APC in the state.
The defection of the two state lawmakers representing Katana and Mikang constituencies respectively has further depleted the rank and strength of PDP members in the state assembly.
With the development, PDP members have suddenly become the minority in the Assembly, as it now has seven members to APC’s 17.
Shortly after reading the letters from the two defectors on the floor of the Assembly, the Speaker, Peter Azi, welcomed them to APC, stressing that they would not be marginalised in their new party.
He also called on citizens of the state to continue to support the APC at all levels as it tries to take the country to the next level..
Speaking to newsmen, the deputy speaker said he left PDP because most of his supporters were in APC, adding that a thorough consultation was carried out before the decision was taken.
“It was a call by my supporters and the people of my constituency. They voted for me and now want me to join them in APC, so I have to listen to them,” he said.
A source in the assembly told Nigerian Tribune that four of the present seven PDP members were reportedly in the process of holding consultations with their various constituencies to also defect to APC. It was learnt that the four might notify the Assembly before the week runs out or latest by next Monday.
All attempts to speak with state officials of PDP proved abortive, as the state publicity secretary, Mr John Akans, simply sent a message that he could not respond to calls because he was attending a meeting.