The leadership of the All Progressives Congress is mounting sustained pressure on the Leader of the Senate, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, and Senator Heineken Lokpobiri from Bayelsa State to dump the Peoples Democratic Party for the opposition party.
The pressure on Ndoma-Egba, representing Cross River Central Senatorial District, and Lokpobiri, who represents Bayelsa West Senatorial District in President Goodluck Jonathan’s home state of Bayelsa, is part of a grand plot by the APC to take over control of the upper legislative chamber.
Although it could not be confirmed how many aggrieved PDP senators are likely to toe the line of Ndoma-Egba if he eventually caves in, reports also indicate that most of those who lost in their bid to return to the Senate in the recently conducted primaries for the 2015 February elections, have been offered tickets by the APC.
Should the aggrieved PDP senators take up the offer, this would see the APC having the majority of seats, a development likely to rattle the Presidency and signpost what to expect in the coming general elections.
This latest plot by the senators is however a clear rejection of the President’s plea to aggrieved PDP members not to abandon the party and is being interpreted as a bold effort to challenge the leadership of the National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu.
A national leader of the APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the party’s presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, are said to be at the forefront of the team reaching out to the aggrieved lawmakers, with some of the aggrieved PDP senators working assiduously to ensure its success.
Sources close to Ndoma-Egba confirmed on Monday that the aggrieved senator had been approached by the leadership of the APC at the highest level, but the senator is said to have insisted on remaining in the PDP.
Lokpobiri could not be reached for comments but sources close to the Bayelsa-born lawmaker hinted that the APC option appears to be a viable consideration.
Aside Ndoma-Egba and Lokpobiri, there are also reports that the APC Presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to meet the 22 governorship aspirants who lost out in Akwa Ibom, with a view to lure them into the party.
The aspirants under the platform of G22 include former Akwa Ibom State Deputy governors, Obong Nsima Ekere and Patrick Otu; a senator representing Akwa Ibom South, Helen Esuene; former Nigerian Ambassador to Russia and Belarus, Assam Assam, SAN; former Attorney-General of Akwa Ibom State, Ekpenyong Ntekim; former Commissioner for Local Governments and Chieftain Affairs, Effiong Abia; Asukwo Okpo, Larry Esin’ Prof. Richard King and Chris Abasi Eyo.
Others include Okpolump Ette, Aniedi Ufot, David Okpon, Dr. Samuel Udonsak, Jerome Isangedighi, Dr Peter Esu, Ita Udoh, Ime Ekanem, Micheal Etuk, Benjamin Okoko, Ime Akpanebe and Effiong Usin.