Defections: Saraki, Dogara hang on the edge of the precipice
Senate President Bukola Saraki has to work hard to retain his seat against the fury of the All Progressives Congress (APC) if his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) recently should not deal a fatal blow to his political career.
Also, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, will be hitting his leg against the rock if he accompanies his political soul-mate Aminu Tambuwal into the PDP. This is because, as it stands today, the APC has as narrow but dangerous edge over the PDP. By implication, the two National Assembly leaders who lust after the PDP could suffer the biblical Samsonic crash from grace to grass.
The distribution of seats in the chambers, as at today, stands as follows:
House of Representative
The battle ahead for Senate President Saraki requires that he woos more senators to his side to ensure that he garners the majority seats for the PDP before the resumption of the Senate in September. With the APC Chairman Adams Oshiomhole breathing hell and brimstone, the Senate president could meet a very devastating resistance if he does not win more APC souls to his side before that date. The most disturbing could be the rumoured defection of some PDP senators of the South-South block to the APC. It is becoming apparent that the local politics in the South South has left some senators in such a hot sun that they have begun to search for a new abode in APC. But that is bad news for Bukola Saraki.
However, Speaker Dogara is in a much more precarious situation as the defections in the House did not do a devastating blow to the foundation of APC in the Lower Chamber. He needs more than 30 lawmakers in his chamber to flip seat from APC to PDP before he can confidently jump into the PDP boat. Unfortunately for him the APC has begun to gather momentum against the defections that it may successfully convince other members of the House of Representative against taking the defection option. Instead, PDP members who spot opportunities in the vacancies being created in the APC by the defections could migrate to APC.
Again, if Speaker Dogara fails to defect to the PDP, he may actually find himself in a difficult balance as the APC may deal with him with a lot of suspicion. Dogara needs to make a lot of efforts, reassuring the APC leadership for him to continue to maintain his exalted position in the party.