By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN — WITH barely 24 hours to the resumption of plenary by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, members of the Edo State House of Assembly, acting Speaker of the Assembly, Chief Festus Ebea, formally defected from the All Progressives Congress, APC to the PDP.
It will be recalled that following suspicious of his defection, Ebea along with three other APC members in the House, namely Patrick Osayimwen, Friday Ogieriakhi and Jude Ise-Idehen, were suspended on June 9.
Ebea remained in APC since then while the trio dumped the party for PDP.
After his suspension, Ebea was later ‘impeached’ by the APC dominated Assembly, an action that led to the break-up of the 24-member House into two factions along APC and PDP lines.
The two factions in the last four months have held parallel plenary along party lines and at two separate locations, with the nine PDP members electing Ebea as their Speaker in July.
Speaking at the event in Ubiaja, Esan South-East Local Government Area of the state, Ebea said his decision to move to PDP was informed by the fact that the APC as a party has lost direction flowing from the ideals of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, on which platform he contested and won the state Assembly seat in 2011.
He said: “My constituency has been particularly sidelined in the scheme of things despite numerous promises and budgetary allocations for development projects that were never executed by the state government. And my people have wondered if this should continue.”
He said the PDP had proved at the national level with President Goodluck Jonathan at the helm that Nigeria can be transformed with credible and people-centred leadership and development programmes.
He said: “Even at the state level, the constructive leadership style of the state chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, has helped put the party into reckoning as a competent opposition which can and will take over Government House in Benin City in 2016.”
He formally declare his intention to seek re-election to the state Assembly as representative for Esan South-East State constituency, adding that he remains committed to transforming his constituency with ‘trusted, tested and dependable’ legislations that will help bring about the needed development of the locality.