Saraki’s Defection Alters Balance of Power in the Senate

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The movement of Senate President Bukola Saraki has altered the power configuration in the upper legislative chamber, increasing the opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) number from 54 it was at the first gale of defections last week to 55 (using Senate record).

With the ruling All Progressives Congress’ (APC) membership declining from 51 to 50, (with Saraki’s defection) the PDP has become the majority party in the Senate with five significant implications.

•For the first time in the political history of the country, the opposition party would form the majority in the upper legislative chamber, forcing the ruling party to relinquish its leadership of the Senate.

•Saraki would retain his presidency, effectively making the number three citizen an opposition politician.

•In that capacity, he also becomes the highest elected person in opposition camp, a situation that catapults him to the position of national leader of the PDP.

•Consequently, the current Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, would become the majority leader.

As majority leader, Akpabio would have the responsibility of presenting executive bills, an eventuality that leaves the ruling party in a precarious situation as the opposition party may frustrate executive bills.