Mass defection rocks PDP as former lawmaker, others, join APC, says party has lost focus
This development is barely two weeks after the presidential election, when the ruling party won the state with over 65% of the total vote cast. The APC equally won the three senatorial seats and seven of the nine house of representatives seats.
It was gathered that the defectors are from the 18 local government areas of the state and they were received by the state leadership of the APC at the party secretariat, along Oyemekun Road, Akure, the state capital.
Leader of the defectors and former member of the state House of Assembly, Adeyinka Banso, said they dumped the PDP following the leadership crisis, declaring that the party had lost focus and vision.
He explained that he lost interest in the PDP when the opposition party picked its presidential candidate from the northern part of the country, saying it was a breach of the agreement on part of the PDP.
He said, “We are here to declare our unreserved and total commitment to APC. We declare total loyalty to our party leader, our governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, and our party chairman, the Jagaban of Ondo politics, Engr. Ade Adetimehin.
“Our quest to drop vision-lessness informed our defection to the progressive party. If I stay in PDP, I won’t get the opportunity to represent my people to do what will be beneficial to them. By joining APC, I can heave a sigh of relief.
“The moment my party picked a candidate from the northern extraction because it’s a breach of an agreement to me, this is not fair, I started thinking of moving to APC.”
Receiving the former PDP chieftains, the state Chairman of APC, Mr Ade Adetimehin, expressed delight at the development. He stated that the defectors were strong members of the PDP.
Adetimehin said, “I am the happiest man today. These are shakers and movers of Ondo politics. Politics is about grassroots, these gladiators are grassroots politicians popular among their people. These are men who usually gave us tough times in their various units, wards and constituencies during the elections. They are going to add value to our party a great deal.
“With their defection, we are sure of winning the state assembly election in their various units, wards, and constituencies.”
Adetimehin also said the remaining strong chieftains of the PDP would be drawn to APC before the end of the year.
“We are happy to receive the new decampees from the PDP. With these brothers coming, we have set the ball rolling. Before the end of this year, we are going to receive all leaders of the PDP into our party. There will be no PDP again. Ondo state shall become a full-time APC state.
“On behalf of the leader of our party, Akeredolu, I hereby receive you into our party, APC. Let’s go back to our units to join our party. All leaders in units and wards should issue membership cards to them all. If you don’t have membership cards again, come to the secretariat to get another set, ” the said.