By Ifeanyi Nwoko
Barely two years after he returned to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Joshua Dariye today defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Dariye, a former two-term governor of Plateau State under PDP announced his defection in a letter read by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki at the end of plenary on Thursday.
“After due consultations with my constituency , I write to notify you of my intention to cross over from the PDP to the APC.
“My decision is informed by the protracted division at the national level of the PDP that led to the massive movement of my supporters to the APC.
“Arising from this, I therefore write to formerly inform you of my decision to go along with my supporters. I thank you for your understanding , “the letter reads.
Addressing newsmen on his defection, Dariye said his decision to dump the PDP was informed by the crack in the party.
He added that most of his constituents had defected to the ruling APC and he wanted to be one with his constituents for effective representation.
” My people in the PDP have moved to the APC and there is no need to remain alone,” he said.
Dariye who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Procurement reiterated his commitment to serve the people of his constituency.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this is the second time Sen. Dariye was dumping the PDP.
Dariye left the PDP for Labour Party to contest the 2011 senatorial election to represent Plateau Central.
However, in 2014, Dariye rejoined the PDP saying that his decision to rejoin the PDP was because he was a founding member of the party and assured of “his loyalty at all times.
With the dumping of the PDP, the population of serving PDP senators had dropped to 43 while the APC has 59 senators and labour party has one senator.
Six seats still remain vacant as election is yet to be conducted in the three districts in Rivers and one in Anambra: the remaining senators from Imo and Kogi are still awaiting swearing in.
Dariye is facing a charge of money laundering and theft by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
His trial began in 2007, but had gone through several legal obstacles.
He is alleged to have siphoned the state’s ecological fund to the tune of N1.16 billion and is being tried before Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Gudu, Abuja. The case had already reached an advanced stage.
In 2004, Mr. Dariye also fled the United Kingdom where he was charged with money laundering.