Abeokuta — A former governorship aspirant under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and a close political associate of Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun was among the 2,500 faithful of the All Progressives Congress and Labour Party (LP) who have decamped to the PDP, Ogun State chapter.
A Special Assistant to Amosun on Environment, Mrs. Lanre Abimbola Balogun, also decamped to the PDP with about 1,000 APC and LP supporters recently.
The PDP executive welcomed the defectors to the party at a grand reception at Ijebu-Igbo in Ijebu-North local government area of the state.
The party Chairman, Chief Dayo Bayo in his address at the well attended ceremony promised the defectors that they would enjoy all the benefits in the party just like the old members.
He also pledged a level playing field for all the aspirants.
“We have five aspirants so far, but, I can assure there would be level playing ground, there is not going to be any form of imposition during the party primaries”, he said .
Commenting on the speculations that the immeidiate-past governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel is set to join the party, Dayo, an Engineer stated “we are not barring anybody from joining our party, but, what we are saying is that, whoever wants to come must pass through due process”.
Also on the occasion, Otunba Fatai Sowemimo, a former Commissioner for Youth and Sports under former Governor Gbenga Daniel, defected with hundreds of others from both Labour Party (LP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) from Remo North, Ikenne and Ijebu East local government areas.
Others who defected with over a thousand supporters were the APC Secretary for Remo North local government area, Mr. Ope Olateju, and the chairman of LP in Ijebu East local government, Mr. Ganiyu Ishola.
The Igbo and Hausa communities in Remo North local government, led by Prince John Okorie and Ahmadu Zaki respectively, also came in their hundreds to declare their support for the PDP.
Dayo added. Dignitaries on the occasion included Prince Buruji Kashamu, Chairman, Organisation and Mobilisation Committee, South West PDP; Engr. Bayo Dayo, state Chairman, Ogun PDP; Chief Pegba Otemolu, Zonal Secretary, South West PDP; Alhaji Agboola Alausa, Chairman, PDP Elders’ Council and many others.
In a related development, Afolabi Moruf Afuape, a former special adviser to erstwhile Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, has said in Abeokuta that the chances of the PDP winning the 2015 general elections in the state are remote.
Afuape gave the divisions within the PDP as a major reason for his assumption.
Afuape who has since defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) told his audience that the PDP, due to its factionalization, could no longer provide a “winning platform” for its candidates.
His words: “All the founding members of PDP have left the party. The party is now made up of rogues”.
He, however, charged the APC leadership to present the best candidates to represent the party in the forthcoming elections.
He cautioned the leadership of the party to respect the opinions of the people and provide a level playing ground for all candidates and shun imposition.
He pledged that if voted into power his government would be “responsive, responsible and representative” and deliver the dividends of democracy to the people through provision of ‘constituency projects.”
While receiving him into the APC, the Abeokuta South Local Government Chairman of the party, Chief Oluwole Sanyaolu assured him of a level playing field, pledging that the party would ensure that no candidate was imposed on the people. Sanyaolu also promised the party’s supporters of fairness and justice in picking its candidates.
He appealed to the people to always be accommodating and ready to welcome aggrieved members that left the party in the past for one reason or the other.
Sanyaolu commended the party supporters for their continuous backing and dedication to the party and Amosun-led administration.
While fielding questions from reporters, Afuape commended the governor for his laudable achievements and emphasised that it was Amosun’s performance that attracted him to the party. He assured Amosun of his unflinching support at all times.
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