Nigeria's Senate leader leaves national governing party
ABUJA, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria's Senate president Bukola Saraki on Tuesday announced he has dumped the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) party, barely seven months to the country's national elections.
Saraki announced his decision via Twitter but did not disclose his new political party.
"I wish to inform Nigerians that, after extensive consultations, I have decided to take my leave of the All Progressives Congress," Saraki wrote on his verified Twitter handle.
Some of his loyalists and political associates had earlier left the governing party, many of them joining the main opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP).
Earlier on Tuesday, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State, Saraki's home state, announced his (Ahmed's) defection to the PDP. One other governor, Sam Ortom of the north-central state of Benue, also dumped the APC for PDP last week.
Ahmed is a well-known political associate of Saraki who dumped the PDP for the APC in 2014 ahead of the country's general election of 2015.
He was elected as Nigeria's Senate president in June 2015.
Last week, more than a dozen Nigerian senators and more than two dozens of congressmen, some of them loyal to Saraki, dumped the governing APC for the main opposition party.
Reacting to their defection, Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari said he was not bothered about the politicians, allaying fears that the gale of defection will do any harm to his political party.
Nigeria's crucial general election will hold next February.