By Saka Laaro, Ilorin
Dozens of bigwigs and stalwarts of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State on weekend defected to the ruling party in the State (APC).
The defectors cited the leadership qualities and achievements of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq-led administration as bases of their shifting political camp.
The decampees, under the umbrella of Kwara PDP Transformation Movement, included former executives of the opposition party across ward and local government levels, and some political office holders.
Team lead of the defectors, Comrade Lawal Nurani Omoyooba, blamed their decision to leave PDP on maltreatment meted to them in the opposition party even though they were among the foundation members of the PDP in the state.
Also on Saturday night, another PDP top gun Hassan Gegele announced his defection from the faltering opposition party to the ruling APC. Gegele was Personal Assistant on Political Matters (Kwara Central) to former Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.
“We the PDP defectors comprise former party executives at the ward and local government levels; former Commissioners and SAs under PDP government. We are here to announce our defection to APC, and to appreciate and commend Your Excellency’s efforts in serving the Kwaran masses well,” Omoyooba said.
“Since last five months Kwara PDP Transformation Movement has been running a radio programme to sensitise people of how the interest of the masses can be protected. We also include in our activities areas where we thought the politicians have to step up. We also highlight how we are being cheated as members of Kwara PDP, especially those of us that we were in that party before Senator Saraki returned to the party.
“Why did we decamp? our reason is very simple. We want a listening and understanding leader, and a leader that has the interest of the masses at heart.
“These are some of the qualities we have seen in you. We checked your achievements in education, health, road and other key sectors of the economy and we found out that you have been doing well. May Almighty Allah continue to bless and guide you.”
He asked AbdulRazaq to receive them well and treat them fairly in their new party, hoping for a grand defection ceremony to herald them into the APC.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, for his part, appreciated them for identifying with his government and the ruling party in the State, pointing out that their defection underscores the rising popularity of the party in the state and nationally.
“We appreciate your visit because with your introduction and with what we have known you are a formidable group. Your strength is actually based on your unity of purpose to work together and free yourself from being intimidated,” he said.
“As we are looking forward to gradually going to the campaign season, it is a good time for us to work together with a common agenda so that we can build a stronger political force to win the next elections. And in doing that or forming the next government together means we are all in it together.”
He also told the decampees that despite inheriting widespread infrastructural decay in schools, hospitals and other key sectors, the administration has been fixing them and will not relent in the efforts to continue to serve Kwarans better.