The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Sunday said the ruling All Progressives Congress welcomes the defection of Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to the party from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
He also described the recent defection of some governors and lawmakers from the ruling All Progressives Congress as nothing but “a storm in a teacup.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that there had been rumour making the rounds about the defection of the Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, from the Peoples Democratic Party to APC.
Akpabio had visited President Muhammadu Buhari in London on Sunday.
Mohammed, however, told newsmen in Lagos that those who left the ruling party did so for personal interests.
“I welcome it (defection of Akpabio) because all politics is local. All those who have left us did that for purely personal reasons.
“Since they say politics is a game of number, of course we welcome gladly the defection of the minority leader. Like they say, it is one-one goalless draw.”
On whether Akpabio was being positioned for the position of the Senate President, Mohammed said “that I don’t know.”
Mohammed said that the recent defection of some governors, state and federal lawmakers to the main opposition party, PDP, was nothing to worry about.
“There have been so much hype about this defection, and to me, it’s nothing but a storm in a teacup. We must appreciate the fact that at the end of the day, all politics is local.
“One should ask, what is the electoral value of these decampees? In other words, today in Sokoto State, what’s the electoral value of those who have decamped,” he asked?
According to him, the foundation for the defection was laid the moment Dr. Bukola Saraki emerged Senate President against the wish of the party, which affected the relationship between the executive and the legislature.
The minister said that since the day Saraki lobbied the opposition party to become the Senate President, the relationship between the executive and legislature had been turbulent.
“In fact, we could not have suffered more as an executive in the hands of the legislature if a PDP person had been the senate president,” he said.
On allegation of lopsided appointment of Kwara people in Buhari’s administration, Mohammad described it as unfounded.
He said that no fewer than 24 indigenes of Kwara State were given federal appointments, of which he (Mohammed) only recommended two, while the Senate President recommended 20.
On those complaining of not being given juicy appointments, the minister said that people complaining were not ready to serve and turn things around but eyeing what to steal.
“It is not true that a particular part of the country is being favoured against the other.
“I challenge anybody to go to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and take out the list of appointees under this administration.”
“You will be surprised that we have been fair to all,” the minister said.