Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has resigned his membership from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Abaribe had this week announced his withdrawal from PDP governorship primaries in Abia State, less than 24 hours before the exercise alleging plans by government forces to use “imaginary three-man ad-hoc delegates” in the primaries to the exclusion of the party’s statutory delegates.
On Friday, the lawmaker also announced his resignation from the party as well as his position as the Senate Minority leader in two separate letters, according to a report by the Punch.
The letters were addressed to the ward chairman of the PDP in the lawmaker’s council area and Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
In the letter to the ward chairman, titled, “Resignation of my membership from the PDP,” Abaribe said the decision was based on “illegality” in the party.
“This development is consequent upon the shameful display of illegality, impunity and undemocratic decision of the party and after due consultations with my constituents,” the lawmaker explained.
Also, in another letter to the Senate President, the former Abia governorship aspirant, said his resignation from PDP has required him to relinquish his position as the minority leader of the Senate.
“This is to notify you and my dear colleagues in the Senate that I have formally resigned my membership of the PDP through my ward. This also means my resignation as (the) Minority Leader of the Senate,” Abaribe said in the letter.
He expressed gratitude to his colleagues in the Senate for “the warm camaraderie” he enjoyed with them while he served as the minority leader.
It would be recalled on Tuesday that Abaribe has been in talks with the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) over a possible switch from PDP in the state.
But a source from the lawmaker’s camp told an online news medium PREMIUM TIMES, Friday afternoon, that Abaribe has switched to APGA and would clinch the party’s senatorial or governorship ticket later in the day.
“Yesterday (Thursday), he called a meeting in his country home and told his constituents,” the source said.
Abaribe hails from Obingwa Local Government Area and Abia South District, where the state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, also comes from.
Ikpeazu has clinched the PDP ticket to contest for Senate seat under Abia South District.
With the new development, Messrs Abaribe and Ikpeazu could face each other as opponents in the 2023 Senatorial election in the state.