Osun 2022: Over 500 PDP loyalists defect to APC in Ayedade LGA

0

By Ismail Azeez, Osogbo

The ranks of the main opposition party in Osun — the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP — have been  heavily depleted as over 500 of its members have denounced their membership to join the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ayedade Local Government Area of the State precedent to the July 16 governorship election.

The defectors attributed their decision to the modest achievements the ruling party under the administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has recorded in the last three and half years.

This is even as the leadership of the APC in the State said the mass defection was a pointer to the fact that the party was already coasting to victory in the forthcoming guber poll.

Until the official announcement of their defection, the defectors were members of five different PDP groups who have pitched tent with the ruling party, having expressed satisfaction with the way and manner the APC is being run, the government’s good governance scorecard, provision of quality and the purposeful leadership of the Governor.

The electoral umpire — the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC — has fixed July 16 for the governorship election in the State and the recent defection would in no doubt contribute significantly to the positive turnout and performance of the ruling party particularly in affected areas.

Speaking on behalf of the decampees on Sunday, the leader of the defectors, Chief Raufu Lukman, noted that their decision was hinged on the quest to collectively advance the state with the members of the ruling party.

Chief Lukman who was very enthusiastic and upbeat said they willingly packed their belongings from the PDP, having attested to the quality of leadership and membership of the ruling party who he described as “worthy party men and women of virtue.”

He said further, “As you can see, we are here today in large numbers to confidently denounce our membership from the PDP and as well announce to the whole world that we are in APC, the party that means well for the masses.

“Our decision to leave the former party at this critical time is an indication of the fact that the present Administration under the leadership of Governor Oyetola has performed creditably well in all the sectors of the economy and we are bent to contribute our own quota to collectively advance our State for the good and betterment of the citizenry.

“My colleagues and I who are members of the defecting groups running to 500 to 550 members are resolute to work collectively with others to ensure all-round victory for the party,” he added.

Receiving the defectors, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Bola Oyebamiji, commended the decampees for taking a bold step to join the ruling party whose imprints remain unparalleled in the history of the State.

Mr Oyebamiji said, “I’m happy today because members of the opposition party — the PDP have seen and reckoned with the great things we have achieved and consequently seen the need to join the progressive family. This is a rare feat and a good thing for our party and our members, particularly in Irewole Federal Constituency.

“The implication of their decision remains the fact that the APC is the party to beat and the party that is taking the State to Promised Land. This is in line with the adage that says, ‘If you can’t beat them, you join them.’ This is in fulfilment of the directive of Mr. Governor to win more members into our folds and we thank God that many have seen the good things that our Governor has done in all the aspects of the economy.

“To us as party loyalists, this is a challenge for us to further encourage Mr. Governor to do more since his good works have been manifesting for the goodness of the state and members of the party.

“Allah be on our side, certainly, we’re going to win. 500 people from PDP is not a joke and this will affect us positively. By the grace of God, we’re going to record landslide victory in all the local government areas of the State.”

In their separate remarks, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce, Mrs. Christiana Ogunfolaju; Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Mr. Sunday Akere and APC State Women Leader, Mrs Kudirat Fakokunde, described the decision of the defectors as a reflection of the acceptability of Governor Oyetola.

According to them, the defection is a testament to the monumental achievements of Governor Oyetola in the past three and half years in Osun and it shows that the State under his watch has made unprecedented successes.