By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Less than 48 hours after the presidential poll was rescheduled to February 23, no fewer than 200 members of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) on Saturday evening dumped the party and joined the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) in Ekiti State.
The defectors described PDP as a ‘rudderless’ party without strong leadership to coordinate it in Ekiti, saying they were attracted to APC because of Governor Kayode Fayemi’s free education policy in the education sector.
The PDP members from Wards 1 and 2 defected in Ikole Local Government Area (LGA) of the state at a rally organised by the leadership of APC.
They were received by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Biodun Omoleye and the state Chairman of the party, Mr. Paul Omotoso , with a promise that no one would discriminate against them in the party.
Leaders of the defectors, Honourables Sanya Babalola and Aransiola Olayemi , pledged to work hard to actualise the victory of all APC candidates in the Saturday’s elections.
Babalola said they decided to join APC owing to the confidence they reposed in Fayemi-led government.
“This postponement gave us the opportunity to make our defection public, though we had had agreement to work against PDP because the party goofed by picking him in the first place.
“Immediately Governor Fayemi came into office, he introduced free education and we are benefiting from it. This alone was enough selling point to the public about APC”.
Omoleye, represented by the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Fayemi on Mobilisation, Mr. Tunji Ogunlola , urged the defectors to continue to mobilise for the APC to be able to win the February 23 election.
The Chief of Staff said: “You have joined a moving train today and you have no course to fear, because you are on the right course. APC is a party that can protect the rights of every member and that you will enjoy.
“We knew what you passed through under the immediate past government. We heard and saw how you were enslaved by your leaders then, but with Governor Fayemi in the saddle, you are protected and your won’t be denied of any right.
“You came at the right time; I mean, you joined us at a time we are campaigning for the success of our parties in the 2019 general election.
“Your former party ruled Nigeria for 16 years, but nothing to show for it. With Buhari in the saddle, over 11,000 Ekiti indigenes are benefitting from N-power. Over 30 Ekiti indigenes were given federal appointments under the APC-led federal government”.