Federal lawmakers loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari have asked senators and members of the House of Representatives planning to dump the All Progressives Congress (APC) to do so before party primaries begin in August.
The legislators under the aegis of Parliamentary Support Group (PSG), also want the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker Yakubu Dogara, to step down when the National Assembly resumes sitting in September if APC retains majority seats.
It would be recalled that most of the lawmakers who jumped ship during the week have pitched their tent with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking on the demand, a former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume told the Nation: “If Saraki defects, he has to step down. That is what it should be.
“But, as of now, he has not announced, written or registered. He is only hobnobbing around with PDP. So that is what we have to wait for. If he announces his resignation from APC or his defection, he loses the Senate President’s seat automatically.
“If Saraki defects to the PDP, he is still our colleague in the Senate, but he cannot remain the Senate President. That cannot work. But he will be a senator like me. The same thing applies to Dogara.
“You cannot participate in PDP primaries while you remain in APC; it is not possible and you can’t remain in PDP and go and participate in APC primaries.
“Even the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines do not allow you to do that. You have to move to a certain party before a certain period and the period is usually before the primaries.
“I remember in my own case, I moved from ANPP to PDP but I had to do that before the expiration of my time.”
On the consequences of the defections on APC, Ndume said: “We are better off because we now know clearly the colour of the moles and the names of the moles that were living with us and most of these people had issues, which is why they left.
“Some of them have issues in their constituencies, some with their governors. You cannot say they are not important but they cannot do any damage; they are not indispensable.
“Our meeting with the President has unified us. Before, some of the defectors were standing up to talk the way they wanted but now we have known true and committed APC senators and Representatives.”