Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja and Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta
Few hours to Saturday’s deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the final substitution of governorship candidates of political parties for the 2019 general elections, the preferred candidate of Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Mr. Adekunle Akinlade, and four members of the state House of Assembly have defected from for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Allied People’s Movement (APM).
A source close to Akinlade confirmed to THISDAY yesterday that the Yewa South/Ipokia Federal Constituency lawmaker will fly the APM flag in the 2019 governorship election in the state.
The other four defectors, who crossed carpet yesterday, include the Majority Leader, Mr. Adeyinka Mafe; Chief Whip, Mr. Idowu Olowofuja (Abeokuta South 2); Mr. Tunde Sanusi (Obafemi-Owode) and Mr. Ganiyu Oyedeji (Ifo 2).
As a serving member of the House of Representatives, the letter of Akinlade’s decision to dump the ruling party was read yesterday on the floor of the House by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, during plenary.
Other members of the House of Representatives who defected include, Mr. Rabiu Kaugama (Jigawa), who dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Social Democratic Party (SDP); Mr. Mohammed Ajanah (Kogi), who left APC to PDP; and Mr. Salisu Koko (Kebbi), who preferred SDP to his former party, APC.
The lawmakers attributed their defections to impunities and undemocratic tendencies in their various parties.
It was also gathered that the defection letter of the four members were read on the floor of the state House of Assembly by the Speaker, Mr. Suraj Adekunbi.
An official of APC in the state told THISDAY off the record that the state chapter of APC remains an indivisible entity and will not join the aggrieved governorship candidate (Akinlade) and the 26 state House of Assembly candidates in moving to the APM.
According to the source, “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 APC 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.”