Osun 2022: Over 500 PDP Loyalists Defect to APC in Ayedade LG
Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
More than 500 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State have denounced their membership and defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ayedade Local Government Area of the state before the July 16 governorship election.
The defectors attributed their decision to the modest achievements the ruling party under the administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has recorded in the last three and half years.
This is even as the leadership of the APC in the state said the mass defection was a pointer to the fact that the party was already coasting to victory in the forthcoming governorship poll.
Until the official announcement of their defection, the defectors were members of five different PDP groups who have pitched tent with the ruling party, having expressed satisfaction with the way and manner the APC is being run, the government’s good governance scorecard, provision of quality, and the purposeful leadership of the governor.
The electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has fixed July 16 for the governorship election in the state, and the recent defection would in no doubt contribute significantly to the positive turnout and performance of the ruling party particularly in affected areas.
Speaking on behalf of the defectors at the weekend, the leader of the defectors, Chief Raufu Lukman, noted that their decision was hinged on the quest to collectively advance the state with the members of the APC.
Lukman, who was very enthusiastic, said they willingly left the PDP having attested to the quality of leadership and membership of the ruling party, who he described as “worthy party men and women of virtue.”
He said further: “As you can see, we are here today in a large number to confidently denounce our membership from the PDP and announce to the world that we are in APC, the party that means well for the masses.
“Our decision to leave the former party at this critical time is an indication of the fact that the present administration under the leadership of Oyetola has performed creditably well in all sectors of the economy, and we are bent to contribute our own quota to collectively advance our state for the good and betterment of the citizenry.
“My colleagues and I, who are members of the defecting groups running to 500 to 550 members, are resolute to work collectively with others to ensure all-round victory for the party.”
Receiving the defectors, the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Bola Oyebamiji, commended the defectors for taking a bold step to join the APC whose imprints remain unparalleled in the history of the state.
Oyebamiji said: “I’m happy today because members of the opposition party, the PDP, have seen and reckoned with the great things we have achieved and consequently seen the need to join the progressive family. This is a rare feat and a good thing for our party and our members, particularly in Irewole federal constituency.
“The implication of their decision remains the fact that the APC is the party to beat and the party that is taking the state to the Promised Land. This is in line with the adage that says: ‘If you can’t beat them you join them’. This is in fulfilment of the directive of the governor to win more members into our folds, and we thank God that many have seen the good things that our governor has done in all the aspects of the economy.
“To us as party loyalists, this is a challenge for us to further encourage the governor to do more since his good works have been manifesting for the goodness of the state and members of the party.
“Allah be on our side, certainly, we’re going to win. 500 people from PDP coming to the APC is not a joke, and this will affect us positively. By the grace of God, we’re going to record landslide victory in all the local government areas of the state.”
In their separate remarks, the Special
Adviser to the Governor on Commerce, Mrs. Christiana Ogunfolaju; Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Mr. Sunday Akere, and APC state Women Leader, Mrs. Kudirat Fakokunde, described the decision of the defectors as a reflection of the acceptability of Governor Oyetola.