* Three other federal lawmakers change parties
By Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja and Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta
To beat the December 1 deadline set for the substitution of governorship candidates by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the preferred candidate of Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State for the election, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade,
As a member of the House of Representatives representing Yewa South/Ipokia Federal Constituency, Akinlade’s defection letter was read on the floor of the House by Speaker Yakubu Dogara during plenary.
Dogara also announced the defections of three other lawmakers from their respective parties. They are Hon. Rabiu Kaugama (Jigawa), who dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Social Democratic Party (SDP); Hon. Mohammed Ajanah (Kogi), who dumped APC for PDP; and Hon. Salisu Koko (Kebbi) who defected to SDP from APC.
The lawmakers attributed their defections to impunities and undemocratic tendencies in their various parties.
There had been speculations that Akinlade would dump the ruling party after Governor Amosun failed in his bid to have the lawmaker, who is his preferred candidate, fly the governorship flag of the APC.
Also, four members of the Ogun State House of Assembly dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the APM.
The four state lawmakers, include the Majority Leader, Adeyinka Mafe; Chief Whip, Idowu Olowofuja (Abeokuta South 2); Tunde Sanusi (Obafemi-Owode); and Ganiyu Oyedeji (Ifo 2).
The defection letters of the four Ogun lawmakers were read on the floor of the Assembly by the Speaker, Suraj Adekunbi.
A chieftain of the party in the state who pleaded not to be named however said that the Ogun State chapter of the APC remains an indivisible entity and will not join the aggrieved governorship aspirant and the 26 State House of Assembly aspirants in moving to the APM.
The party chieftain said: “We are not going to APM. All the executive members of the APC in Ogun State still remain in the party.
“Those who decided to go to the new party (APM) because of injustice meted out to them, not only limited to the governorship candidate (Akinlade), but also all the aggrieved 26 State House of Assembly candidates, that are not happy with the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC), following the imposition of Prince Dapo Abiodun, as the governorship candidate, are free to do so.
“So, their defection to the APM can’t and will not shrink the strength of the APC, even preparatory to the upcoming 2019 general elections.
“Though the executive members of the party in the state are not happy with the decision of the NWC, by imposing Dapo Abiodun on us, but one thing I want you to know is that, the governorship candidate, Abiodun, himself, hasn’t reached out to us for our support. Once he does that, we will give him our unalloyed support.”