PDP woos defectors with money, automatic tickets

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In Nigeria News Feed
Feb 12th, 2014
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Saraki, Abe, Adamu, Ake, others to Mark: we’re now for APC

SCRAMBLING to stave off more defections to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been making mouth-watering offers to senators and members of the House of Representatives.

The offers may have accounted for the defection of some members of the House to the PDP yesterday, The Nation learnt.

The PDP is said to be targeting senators and members of the House from Zamfara, Sokoto, Nasarawa and Kaduna states.

Some PDP stalwarts in the Northwest have mounted a “one-on-one lobbying“of senators and members of the House who defected to the APC.

It was gathered that in some instances, the spouses and other relations of some of the lawmakers are being urged to prevail on them to dump the APC.

Some of the affected members of the National Assembly have confided in their colleagues that they have been under tremendous pressure to defect to the PDP.

Some of the lawmakers found the baits irresistible and had to bow to the pressure, sources said.

Some of the offers are:

•governorship tickets;

•automatic tickets to the National Assembly in 2015;

•input into the emergence of PDP executives at the ward, local government, constituency/senatorial district – as may be applicable;

•employment and constituency projects;

•protection from harassment by their godfathers;

•prospect of wielding contacts in a PDP government to earn more money.

There were allegations of monetary inducements of between $20,000 and N50million, but these could not be immediately ascertained last night.

Neither the affected lawmakers nor those levelling the allegation were prepared to comment on the allegations as at the time of filing this report.

The development was said to have been brought to the notice of the House leadership, which was trying to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the allegation.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The PDP has been desperate to woo back those who defected to the APC.

“A member of the House from Kano State has been promised the party’s governorship ticket if he dumps the APC. The influential member refused to defect to the PDP with ex-Governor Ibrahim Shekarau.

“The offers keep on increasing as part of the bid by PDP to retain its hold on the National Assembly.”

A lawmaker said: “The PDP has been targeting members of the National Assembly from Zamfara, Sokoto, Nasarawa and Kaduna states. The party is concerned that it is virtually losing the Northwest to the opposition.

“We have heard of cases of alleged monetary inducement, but we are looking for an opportunity to get a proof to present to the public. We heard that some members of the House had been promised between N100million and N150million. This is why anti-corruption agencies should come in. Let them put all of us on surveillance; they should monitor our financial transactions.

“You know even a governor in North-Central cried out about a week ago that some members of the National Assembly had been induced. I know the lid will soon be blown open.”

A principal officer in the House, who pleaded not to be named, said: “If any infraction on the part of a lawmaker is proven beyond reasonable doubt, we will apply appropriate sanctions.”

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