IN SHORT: Defections are common in Nigerian politics. But a minister from the ruling party that won the presidential election did not join the opposition.
Nigeria’s minister of state for mines and steel, Gbemisola Saraki, has joined the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), according to an article shared on Facebook in March 2023.
Its headline reads: “JUST IN: Minister Of Mines And Steel Gbemi Saraki Joins PDP.” The article was published on the website Ilorin Info on 7 March 2023.
Saraki was appointed minister in July 2022. Originally a member of the PDP, she defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in April 2015. The APC had won the general election weeks earlier.
In Nigeria, it is common for politicians to defect to other parties before and after elections. Their reasons for doing so include unfair treatment and harassment.
The claim was also shared here on Facebook.
But has Saraki gone back to the PDP?
‘I remain committed to the APC’ says Saraki
On 7 March Saraki denied claims that she had joined the PDP, in a statement signed by her media consultant Moses Bello.
In reaction to the story, Saraki said she worked hard to ensure that Nigeria's president-elect, Bola Tinubu, won the presidential election in Kwara state, where she started her political career. If she had defected to the PDP, this would have been a wasted effort, Saraki said.
Saraki said she had no intention of leaving the APC.
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