• 1,493 APC members defect to PDP
By James Sowolein in Akure
About 24 hours after the affirmation of Rotimi Akeredolu as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the November 26 Gubernatorial Election of Ondo State, three other top aspirants yesterday rejected the decision of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).
This is as 1,493 APC members, including party officials allegedly dumped the party for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP at Idanre barely a week after the State’s Director General of the Buhari Campaign organisation in the 2015 presidential election, Idowu led over 2,000 members of the APC to the PDP in Akure South local government.
The three aspirants, Chief Olusola Oke, Dr Olusegun Abraham and a ranking Senator, Prof Ajayi Boroffice disclosed their decision in Akure, Ondo State capital.
The trio, who filed petitions against the results of the September 3 primary election of the party aspirants took a swipe at the national chairman for his undemocratic behavior by over ruling the decision of the NWC
Addressing a joint news conference in Akure, the spokesman of the aggrieved, Boroffice strongly condemned the party’s National Chairman for allegedly overruled the position of the majority members of NWC.
“We are widely consulting and would make public the next line of action that will liberate our people from the present state of hopelessness and despair”.
“The Appeal committee within the mandate of their authority having regards to the preponderance of evidence laid before it recommended that the election be nullified and another election be conducted.
“The majority of the members of the NWC voted that the recommendations of the Appeal committee be upheld.
“To our dismay and in a manner at variance with democratic norms, the national chairman overruled the majority of the NWC.
“He rejected the path of truth and upheld the primary election that its process was characterised with corruption
“Let it be known that we are not deterred by the action of the NWC and the undemocratic behavior of the national chairman.
“We are encouraged by the genuine desire of the people of Ondo State for a change that will free them from the economic captivity of the present administration in Ondo State.
“We are determined to liberate our people and no undemocratic decision of a party and its leadership will be allowed to misdirect our attention from the goal.
“We condemn in absolute terms the undemocratic decision of the NWC.
“Since our party and the official leaders of the party have found pleasure in covering fraud, we owe the people of Ondo State a sacred duty of liberation. This we are committed to and this we shall do.
“In the days ahead, we shall consult widely and make public the next line of action that will liberate our people from the present state of hopelessness and despair
On if they were planning to dump the party, Boroffice said ” The people of the state will determine what our next decision would be.
On his part, Oke said ” We are still examining the situation, if we get to the bridge we will cross it.
“We have no personal position. We will come out later with a clean and clear position within the shortest period of time
However, Oke said ” I have not moved out of APC, when I’m ready I will shout it and address the press.
Recalling what led to their petitions, Boroffice said that over 383 names were fraudulently injected into the delegate list while 300 delegate tags were indiscriminately issued to no-delegate to the voting centre and voted to give undue advantage to one of the aspirants.
According to him, the aspirants including Akeredolu made a written protest letter to the primary election committee chairman informing him of the rejection of the substituted delegate list a day to the primaries.
“As democrats, having discovered the fraud in the process, we submitted ourselves to the process of redress as stipulated in the Primary election guidelines of the APC, believing that we are safe in the hands of supposed democrats.
At yesterday’s defection, about 1, 500 members joined the PDP in Idanre and they include Bidemi Oladapo-Akinde, APC LG Youth leader, Michael Olafisoye, PRO, Duyilemi Samuel, Assistant Welfare Officer. Mrs Feyisayo Orosunjebi, Assitant Women Leader, Isalu Ehinpeti Ward, Jerome Olubiyimo, WElfare Officer, Ala Ward, MichaelOgunleye,LG Delegate, Ala Ward and Ayodeji Akin, Assistant Organising Secretary, Isalu Ehinpeti ward among others.
Before yesterday’s defection, a popular member of the party also in Idanre, Kunle Adebayo, had led about 2000 of the party members from Jibokin Ward to the PDP.
The defectors claimed they made up their minds to quit the APC after much appraisal of the political value of the party’s flag bearer in the coming election, Rotimi Akeredolu as against Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP.
According to Duyilemi Samuel, who spoke on behalf of the decampees, the party had overtime become a hard sell, especially with the agonising effect of the crumbled economy on the people.
The defectors were received into the PDP fold on behalf of Governor Olusegun Mimko by the Chief of Staff , Dr. Kola Ademujimi.
Over 4,000 members of the APC in Akure North local government area in July this year, ditched the party for the PDP because of what they termed the bad reputation of the APC in the state and the hardship its leadership in the country has inflicted on the people.
Receiving the defectors, the state Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko had thanked them for their decision to join hands with true progressives to ensure that Ondo state maintains his model status.
Represented by the State’s Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, Mimiko said the APC planned to privatise the Mother and Child hospitals, Mega schools and Free Bus Shuttle programme if elected to power.