The outcome of the presidential election of March 28, which favours General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, has made many politicians from other parties, especially the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, to cross over to the winner party
| By Olu Ojewale | Apr. 20, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
SINCE General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, won the March 28 presidential election, the party has become the toast of several politicians who have been dumping their parties for the APC. Mostly affected by the strong wind of defection is the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as it members are moving in droves to the APC.
On Thursday, April 9, Olusola Oke, a PDP chieftain in Ondo State, led a contingent of old members, mainly from the South Senatorial District, to decamp to the APC. The former PDP state secretary led the contingent of politicians from his senatorial district to pitch tent with the APC at the party’s secretariat at Oyemekun Road, Akure, capital of Ondo State. Oke said: “I resisted the wind of change that was blowing, until it was almost trying to blow me out. Now, I have surrendered; I can resist no more, and I have come. “I have come over, not because the PDP lost election, I have come over because the wind of change that is blowing across Nigeria must blow in Ondo State.”
Another gale of deflection was recorded In Oyo State on Thursday, April 11, as a serving member of the House of Representatives, two former members (PDP and Accord Party), a PDP gubernatorial aspirant and a women leader, former local council chairmen of the PDP and thousands of their supporters defected to the APC, claiming that their future political destinies would be better served under the party. They are Afeez Jimoh, Folake Olunloyo-Osinowo, Tayo Sarumi, Azeez Adeduntan, Ayoka Lawani, Waheed Adeleke, former Chairman, Iseyin Local Council, among other party leaders from the Accord, Labour Party and PDP. They joined the party at an event held at the Mapo Hall in Ibadan yesterday.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, his counterpart from Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, who represented Buhari and Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the APC, received the defectors.
In Kwara State, the PDP also suffered a massive loss, as three former executive members announced their defection to the APC, citing alleged insincerity of the leadership. They also alleged that inhuman treatment was meted out to them and Gbemisola Saraki, their political mentor, who also reportedly defected on Thursday, April 9. At a press conference in Ilorin, capital of Kwara State, she said their continued stay in the PDP would render them politically irrelevant and thus rob them of the opportunities to contribute their quota to the development of the state and its people.
As if that was not bad enough, more than 100 members of the PDP in Gombe State also dumped the party, just as retired General Lawrence Onoja and former Katsina State military administrator, and Mathias Oyigeya, former governorship aspirant, crossed to the APC in Gombe State.
Others, who dumped the PDP at an event which took place at Jesus College, Otukpo, Benue State, include Agbo Oga, former chief of staff to David Mark, Senate president; Mike Iduma, former state chairman of the PDP, Lawrence Ugbo, a retired major, Peter Ochijele, former member of the state executive council; John Ochoga, PDP chieftain, and Mike Inalegwu, former chairman of Local Government Service Commission, Others are Theresa Ikwue, former chairman, Agatu and Okpokwu Local Council, as well as Inalegwu Ode, former chief press secretary to the governor.
Among the PDP members, who were received by the leadership of the APC in Gombe State are personal and special assistants to the state Governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo. Others include Ibrahim Zamfara, a member of the PDP elders committee in the state, Shuaibu Galadima, a serving member of the state House of Assembly and Mamman Alkali, majority leader of the state House of Assembly, among others.
In Edo State, Oserheimen Osunbor, former governor of the state, Idada Ikponmwen, a retired brigadier-general and provost of the Nigerian Army, are among the latest high profile members of the PDP in the state to have moved with reports of more to join the bandwagon.
In a news briefing where he announced his defection on Thursday, April 9, Ikponmwen said: “Democracy is all about the people and thrives best only where the people can choose their leaders, reserving the right to change them when desirable and contributing at all time towards good governance. Now that Nigerians have demonstrated their choice, it behoves all well meaning people to give full support to our chosen leader.” He told his numerous supporters that they should give his new party and government the same level of support they have offered the PDP.
Irked by the gale defection couple with speculations in the media that he was about defecting to the APC, Mark and Ike Ekwewremadu, his deputy, were forced to issue statements reassuring party members that they would rather live and sink with the PDP. In his remarks, Mark described defecting members of the PDP as “fair weather friends.”
In his own estimation, Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, on Thursday, described as unfortunate and complete lack of political ideology the defection by some members of the party, saying that the defectors were suffering from poverty of integrity, morality and principle. Aliyu said: “I would rather resign from politics than defect.”