BY BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO
LOKOJA – Immediate past Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Umar Ahmed has dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC for the Social Democratic Party, SDP, over what he described as decision of the party leadership to shut him out of the party.
Announcing his defection today at a press conference, the lawmaker representing Lokoja 1 also listed fractionalization of the party as well as imposition of candidate for the Reps bye-election as another reason he dumped the party.
The lawmaker disclosed that his problems in the state started when he refused to support the failed recall bid of Senator Dino Melaye, and rather opted for reconciliation; a development he said was misconstrued by the power bloc in the party who shut him out.
He said the foundation member of the APC had suffered more and the state leadership had not intervene to sooth their nerves.
Ahmed however said he will be embracing the SDP platform as an alternative party and will also contest the forthcoming Lokoja/Kogi Federal constituency bye election slated for August 11, 2019.
“Three different reconciliation attempt by national party for the party was frustrated and it failed.
“My resignation from the Speakership position August last year were symbolic of the travails of what I had passed through. In all these, there was no intervention from the state leadership.
“Those who suffered and still suffering were foundation members who toiled for the party.
“The decision to dump the APC was arrived after I have waited patiently, for several months, hoping that the APC leadership would encourage anticipation of every party member in the affairs of the party and in the decision making process, and genuinely reconcile with aggrieved members to unify the party, but rather the division and crisis continued. In fact, I was shut out of the party and never even recognised as the former Speaker much more of a leader down to my own ward.
“It is no longer news that the APC has equally imposed a candidate for the forthcoming House of Representation Bye-election to fill in the vacancy occasioned by the death of the member representing Lokoja/Kogi Federal constituency without complying with the rules of internal democracy. Therefore, the decision to defect from the APC is based on foregoing and the continued fractionation of the party at both the national and state levels giving the leadership crisis within the party.”