Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says he “gladly welcomes” the anticipated defection of Godswill Akpabio to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The senate minority leader on Sunday met with President Muhammadu Buhari in London, UK, amid talks of an imminent departure from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“I welcome it (defection of Akpabio) because all politics is local. All those who have left us did that for purely personal reasons,” Mohammed said during a chat with journalists in Lagos.
“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 the recent defection of some governors, state and federal lawmakers to the PDP was nothing to worry about.
He said: “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.”
According to him, the foundation for the defection was laid the moment Bukola Saraki emerged senate president against the wish of the party.
The minister said 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 the allegation of lopsided appointment of Kwara people in Buhari’s administration, Mohammed described it as unfounded.
He said no fewer than 24 indigenes of Kwara were given federal appointments of which he (Mohammed) only recommended two while Saraki recommended 20.