By Dayo Johnson & Daud Olatunji
….26 Ogun APC assembly candidates defect to APM
….As Akeredolu’s aides resign from cabinet, join PDP
ABEOKUTA—GOVERNOR Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State said, yesterday, that God will not forgive him if he had stopped the defection of his preferred governorship candidate, Adekunle Akinlade and other aggrieved candidates from defecting from All Progressives Congress, APC, to the Allied People’s Movement, APM.
This came as 26 APC candidates, who contested for the House of Assembly tickets in Ogun State during the party primary, yesterday, joined APM.
Amosun said he had attempted to stop them from protecting the mandate given to them.
The governor said this while addressing an APC stakeholders’ meeting attended by Akinlade, at the Presidential Villa in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He promised to remain in APC to contest the Senate seat and ensure the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Amosun said: “When these people came, they told me they were leaving APC, I said no but I could not stop them. In fact, Akinlade has my full support, I am not going to stop him, everything I have, I will use to support him, let them try whatever they want to try, we also have our strategies and I am not going to hide behind one finger.
“I remain in APC because that’s what those people want, they want us to leave APC but they are joking. I will stay in APC to ensure that Buhari wins in Ogun State and to let them know that they can’t subvert the will of Ogun State.
“Every day, I will campaign for President Muhammdu Buhari, we will do everything possible to ensure Buhari wins massively in Ogun State, but they should not miss it. I, Senator Ibikunle Amosun will not support anyone they are bringing.
“God will punish me if I stop Akinlade. All of you supporting Akinlade, you have my support. They are talking about party supremacy, what happens to party supremacy at the local levels?.”
Meanwhile, the defectors, who spoke through their spokesperson, Mr. Lamidi Olatunji, said they took the decision to dump APC for APM after consultations with elders, leaders and members of APC failed.
Olatunji said: “After extensive and due consultations with our elders, members and stakeholders in the APC in Ogun State, we have come to the inevitable conclusion to seek the general mandate of our people in the 2019 elections on the platform of the Allied People’s Movement.
“We regret that Mr. President’s efforts were frustrated by the forces that are bent on returning the South West to the dark age of slavery where unelected kingpins direct the affairs of the people.
“We are committed to the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari and we are determined to deliver Ogun State to him in the Presidential election, on February 16, 2019, by the grace of God. Governor Amosun has nothing to do with our decision to defect to APM.”
Akeredolu’s aides resign from cabinet, join PDP
In a related development, two aides to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, yesterday, resigned and joined the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for allegedly being sidelined by the governor.
The two aides, who hail from the Southern Senatorial district of the state, include Akeredolu’s Senior Special Assistant on Oil and Gas, Benson Enikuomehin and the Special Assistant on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Lubi Akpoebi Ebielatei.
Vanguard gathered that the two aides resigned over the alleged leadership style of the governor.
Enikuomehin represented the state in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, during the Olusegun Mimiko administration, while Mr. Ebielatei was a former member of the state House Assembly.
Enikuomehin and Lubi were, however, silent on why they threw in the towel, but Vanguard was informed that they move to safeguard their political career which is almost going into oblivion under the APC government in the state.
Their individual letters were routed through the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Ifedayo Abegunde.