By Dayo Johnson, Umar Yusuf & Ola Ajayi
The wave of defection from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC continued yesterday with senior members of the defeated ruling party taking their exit from the party.
Among the heavyweight defectors that left the PDP yesterday was immediate past political adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, who initiated the Jonathan re-election campaign and subsequently made an unsuccessful bid for the governo
rship of Adamawa State on the platform of the party.
The gale of the defections came from Adamawa State and Ondo and Oyo states in the Southwest.
Besides Gulak, two serving senators, Ahmed Hassan Barata and Mohammed Bello
Tukur representing Adamawa South and Central respectively, a former Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Jonathan Zwingina, former minister of health, Dr. Idi Hong were among many other prominent leaders who jumped ship when President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari visited Yola, Adamawa State yesterday.
Olusola Oke leads the group
And in Ondo State, the PDP’s immediate past national legal adviser, Chief Olusola Oke led several others including his two wives, a member of the House of Representatives representing Okitipupa/Irele federal constituency, former Commissioners under the Late Dr Olusegun Agagu administration Princes Oladunni Odu, Ayo ifayefunmi, Olajide Ajana, former Senator Gbenga Ogunniya and Mrs Febi Adeyemi
Others included a former Head of Service Alaba Isijola and a former member of the House of Representatives, Abayomi Sheba among others.
In making his declaration, Oke confessed that he and his groups worked to ensure the defeat of the PDP in penultimate weekend’s presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.
In Oyo, Rep, others jump boat
Also yesterday, prominent members of the PDP in Oyo State including a member of the House of Representatives, Afeez Jimoh, a former member of the House of Representatives, Folake Olunloyo-Osinowo, Tayo Sarumi, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan, PDP governorship aspirant, Chief (Mrs) Ayoka Lawani, Mr. Waheed Adeleke, former Chairman, Iseyin Local Government, among other party leaders from the Accord, Labour Party and PDP who joined t
The mass defection of the politicians took place at an event held at the Mapo Hall in Ibadan on Wednesday. PDP member of the House of Representatives from Oyo State.
Adamawa defectors state case
The defectors in Adamawa State made their plans known at a press conference in Yola, the state capital yesterday.
Zwingina, who addressed the press on behalf of the defectors, said:
“After careful identification of the best in the current circumstances facing the state, we came to the conclusion that Bindow’s victory will pave the way for the desired restoration and positive change for the peace and development of the state.”
He explained that following the undemocratic tendencies of the candidate imposed on Adamawa State, by the PDP the serving senators under the party formed alliance with major stakeholders in the party to rally around the ambition of Senator Muhammad Umar Jibrilla Bindow.
The defectors alongside thousands of their followers said their choice of APC’s candidate was reached after careful scrutiny identify him as the best candidate for the job hence their total support for his ambition.
Zwingina noted that what motivated them to join APC was premised by the desire to address the myriad of challenges being faced in the state which include economic underdevelopment, insecurity, lack of infrastructure and political instability among others.
In his remarks, the Director General of Bindowo Campaign organization Alhaji Abdurrahman Abba Jimeta commended the defectors for their move adding that Adamawa indigenes will remain grateful to them for their courage to leave what he described as the “sinking PDP ship that wreaked havoc on the state for the past 16 years.”
Oke lauds turn-coats
Oke, who led the defectors in Akure, Ondo State said that his decision to join the APC was taken because he could not withstand the wind of change he claimed is blowing across the country.
“The wind almost blew me off, but I have now surrendered I can no more resist this change. This change that has blown in the federal must also blow in Ondo State.
Oke said forces of darkness fought against change to happen but “ the only thing that is permanent in life is Change.
“We have come to add value to the APC and salvage the state from bad and visionless leadership with broken promises across the state.
“Ondo State is the poorest in the Southwest because of lack of good leadership. Nothing is working, contractors have abandoned sites, no contract is awarded our youths have no job.
The Party Chairman Hon Isaac Kekemeke welcomed the defectors as he vowed that an APC government in the state would put an end to personalisation of governance.
Ex-Ondo deputy governor too
Also in the welcoming party was the deputy governor of the state, Ali Olanusi.
Reacting to the defection the Director of Publicity of the PDP in the state Ayo Fadaka described Oke’s action as disappointing.
Fadaka in a statement said Oke has made a short-sighted political mistake.
“We note with aghast the decampment of Chief Olusola Oke from our Party to the All Progressive Congress, to us it is a route that Oke should not in any circumstance embark upon but since he in company of his little band have chosen to do so, they are welcome to it.
“We equally feel duty bound to declare that we are disappointed that a man who operated as a major stakeholder in our Party could curiously elect to become a common joiner in a Party.
The mass defection of PDP stalwarts in Oyo State took place at an event held at the Mapo Hall in Ibadan on Wednesday.
Ajimobi receives defectors
The defectors were received by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, his counterpart from Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who represented the president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari and the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
In their separate remarks, the defectors said they were leaving their respective parties for the APC because they discovered that only the APC held hope for the country and the state in particular.
Why I crossed over, by Olunloyo-Osinowo
In her own remark, Hon Olunloyo-Osinowo said all the members of the PDP in Ibadan South West and Ibadan North West constituency had decamped to the APC, stating that they identified with progressive ideology and believed that only the party would take the country to the promised land.
“God has deserted PDP and Nigerians have rejected it. That was why we left the party. The APC remains the only party that can take Nigeria to her land of destiny,” she said.
Another former PDP member of the House of Representatives and now a chieftain of the Accord Party, Hon. Sarumi said that his former party had become a sinking ship that would meet its final Waterloo at the governorship polls on Saturday.