By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Sen. Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), has confirmed the defection of Sen. Godswill Akpabio to the All Progressives Congress(APC).
Enang and Sen. Ahmed Lawan, Senate Majority Leader, spoke with State House correspondents shortly after a closed door meeting with Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Monday in Abuja.
Enang said that Akpabio would be formally received in the party on Aug.8 in Akwa Ibom.
Prior to his defection, Akpabio was the Senate Minority Leader and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“Lawan has said that there are 53 Senators in APC but I want to assure him that APC has harvested people from PDP and other political parties.
“ Akpabio is formally joining the APC and that will be a big ceremony on Aug. 8 in Akwa Ibom.’’
The Presidential Liaison in the Senate warned that the country might face total government shut down, if the National Assembly does not reconvene urgently.
“We are still appealing to the National Assembly to reconvene; you remember that we passed the budget with the understanding that a great amount of the money will be gotten from foreign loans.
“Although it was approved that there would be a loan, the amount that would be gotten was not approved; the Fiscal Responsibility Act requires that the President should specifically state the amount he wants to get from foreign loans and present it before the National Assembly.
“That letter has been presented before the National Assembly and it has to pass that amount before it could be obtained from the foreign financing institutions.
“This is what we are asking and if does not happen, in the next few months, we have a complete government shut down because what we are receiving from the Federation Account as Federal Government share — the capital component — is not enough to sustain even 15 per cent to 20 percent of budget.
“So, there may be a complete government shut down and I know Nigerians will not like it; that is why we are appealing to the National Assembly to reconvene,’’ he said.