Six Lagos Lawmakers Defect to APC, Cite Leadership Crisis

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Gboyega Akinsanmi
Six lawmakers in the Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), thereby leaving only two lawmakers in the opposition camp.
The lawmakers conveyed their decision to defect in a letter addressed to the Speaker, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, and read at a plenary by the acting Clerk of the assembly, Mr. Azeez Sanni.
Before their defection, the PDP had eight out of the 40 lawmakers in the assembly, representing about 20 per cent. But with the defection of six lawmakers, only two lawmakers are left in the fold of the opposition
The letter of defection, which the clerk presented at the plenary yesterday, named the defected lawmakers: Hon. Mosunmola Sangodara from Surulere II, Hon. Fatai Oluwa from Ajeromi Ifelodun II, Hon. Dayo Famakinwa from Ajeromi Ifelodun I, Hon. Hakeem Sokunle from Oshodi-Isolo II, Hon. Jude Idimogwu from Oshodi-Isolo I and Hon. Akeem Bello.
The Minority Leader, Hon. Akeem Bello, spoke on behalf of the defected lawmakers, thereby justifying their decision to dump the PDP on whose platform they won the state legislative election in 2015.
He explained that the lawmakers decided to leave the PDP due to what they ascribed to the leadership crisis, which they said, had undermined its power as the country’s frontline opposition party.
The minority leader, also, said the lawmakers decided to dump the PDP due to what they described as the outstanding performance of the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, whom they said, had brought creativity and dynamism to governance and public administration in the state.
After the defection of the lawmakers was announced, the speaker and other APC lawmakers in the assembly welcomed them to the fold of the progressive congress with singing and clapping.
The speaker commended the defected lawmakers for crossing over to the APC, thereby asking other lawmakers to give them standing ovation and describing their defection as a good decision.
The defection of the lawmaker came two weeks after it had been speculated that some PDP lawmakers would cross over to the ruling party. The speculation became reality yesterday when their letter of defection was publicly presented.
In an interview he granted THISDAY before their defection, the minority leader had complained about how the leadership of the PDP in the state managed the campaign fun the National Secretariat released to them in 2015.
He alleged that N1billion campaign fund was mismanaged, noting that the sum of N25 million was released to each constituency in the state and we have 40 constituencies.
He alleged that he was told that the money was released “to the state chairman that we should meet with the state chairman to get our money. We wrote to two factional chairmen of the state chapter: Captain Tunji Shelle and Mr. Kamaldeen Olorunoje. But nothing came out of our petition.”
He alleged that the affected lawmakers petitioned the National Secretariat about the missing campaign fund, which received much attention until the leadership tussle at the national level abruptly stopped the investigation.