NEMA ex-DG, others dump PDP
Over 1,000 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State yesterday defected to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), second of such major move in a week, after the loss of the presidential and federal legislative polls.
The defection was led by a former House of Assembly member and an ally of Senate President Bukola Saraki, Bamidele Aluko, in Ilorin.
However, the governorship candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Dr. AbdulMumeen Yinka Ajia, has backed his APC rival, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, for this weekend’s election to achieve what he called the “dream of the state.”
In a statement at the weekend in Ilorin, he said his victory would “turn the page for the political history of Kwara.”
Ajia also announced his resignation from the ANRP and decampment to the APC “because the situation in Kwara is really not about party but our struggle against retrogressive leadership as a people.”
He called on his supporters to deliver their votes to the APC standard-bearer.
“I have also gone through his manifesto and I am assured that the progressive, people-centred Kwara that I envision can be kick-started under his leadership,” Ajia stated.
Aluko, leader of the decampees, was chairman of the Kwara United Football Club and the PDP leader in Badari Ward of Ilorin West, the most populated local council in the state.
Other top defectors include Alhaji Alao Abdulyekeen, another PDP top gun from Baboko area of Ilorin, and Akeem Dare, youth leader from Balogun Fulani ward 1.
More so, over 500 PDP members from Asa council area joined the APC.
Leaders of the defectors said the outcome of the National Assembly elections was the “clearest manifestation yet that Kwarans have decided to reject and retire Senator Bukola Saraki for reasons of bad governance, oppression and non-inclusive leadership.”
Besides, the Kaduna PDP has lost prominent members, including erstwhile Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mohammed Sani-Sidi.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that others who dumped the party were one-time commissioners, legislators, permanent secretaries, council chairmen and stalwarts.
Also yesterday, ex-chairman, Alhaji Ali Makinta, and nine ward officials in Machina local council embraced the APC in Yobe. This action comes 10 days after the state chairman, Alhaji Sani Nguru, jumped ship.
The governorship candidate, Alhaji MaiMala Buni, who received the defectors, urged the electorate to vote massively for the party.
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