The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) now has 64 senators in the national assembly compared with 41 belonging to the All Progressives Congress (APC), after Tuesday’s defection of nine of its senators to the leading opposition party.
The senators who defected are Ita Enang (Akwa Ibom north-east), Ahmed Zannah (Borno central), Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman (Kogi central), Atiku Bagudu, (Kebbi central), Barnabas Gemade (Benue north-east), Saidu Alkali (Gombe north), Bassey Out (Cross River south), Mohammed Magoro (Kebbi south) and Helen Esuene (Akwa Ibom).
Ita Enang, one of the defecting senators, promised to work for his new party but still pledged his presidential allegiance to Jonathan.
“I am working for the APC to ensure that it wins governorship election down to any other position,” he said.
“I will only work for Jonathan for presidency.”
Gemade, another defector, lost the PDP senatorial primary election to Gabriel Suswam, Benue state governor. But he has since been given the APC ticket to return to the senate.
Other senators who defected blamed their action on the PDP leadership, which allegedly gave the senatorial tickets to governors.
Earlier in December, about five PDP members of the house of representatives defected to the APC.