Why I left PDP, by Plateau deputy speaker
Deputy Speaker and member representing Kantana constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly, who recently decamped from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Honourable Yusuf Gagdi, has stressed that PDP was and still factionalised from the national to the state levels.
Gagdi, in a chat with The Guardian, also asserted that the Nigerian constitution allowed any elected officeholder to “cross–carpet” to any political party different from the platform on which he ascended office.
He claimed that his constituency believed that APC has performed creditably well which necessitated the need to join the ruling government in the state and at the federal levels in order to attract infrastructural development for his people.
He said that his constituents were tired of being in the opposition, and that Governor Simon Bako Lalong has graciously approved road projects in the constituency.
Gagdi dismissed the insinuation that he was coerced into joining APC because his position was being threatened especially as he was in the opposition and a minority in the House.
Gagdi also spoke about the psyche and psychology of the electorates: “People think as a legislator, you must execute projects, you must build roads, you must build schools, you must build hospitals, you must pay school fees, you must pay dowries, you must finance naming ceremonies and others which should not be the case. Even the executive governor will find this very difficult to do those things.”
The lawmaker, who was very generous to his constituents even when he had not become a legislator, said that he had to surpass what he had been doing, now that he is a legislator and deputy speaker.
According to him, “as an ordinary politician, I was able to sponsor students from my constituency to universities, polytechnics, colleges of education.
If as an ordinary citizen of Kantana in Kanam local government council, I was able to donate about 17 cars prior to my election, I was able to donate about 63 motorcycles prior to my election, now the people will expect me to do more than that.”
The deputy speaker said that he sold firewood order to pay for his school fees, disclosing that his father had to sell his farmland to enable him to write his SSCE examination.
“I personally paid the fees for all SS3 students in my constituency in 2015 in order for them to sit for WAEC in May/June examinations which they did. No single individual from that constituency paid for himself. I paid. People need to be assisted in order for them to achieve their educational objectives,” he pointed out.
He added that it was his desire to continue to pay every year for all the students’ SSCE till he leaves office since they are desirous of going to school.