PDP loses members to LP in Ondo, ANPP members defect in Yobe

By Niyi Bello (Akure) and Njadvara Musa (Damaturu)   |   22 December 2009   |   9:56 pm  

Meanwhile in Yobe State there are strong speculations among top party members of both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the ruling All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) that 11 of the 24-member State House of Assembly have completed arrangements to defect from the ruling ANPP to the opposition PDP. The House of Assembly is controlled by the ANPP and only one member is from the opposition party, the PDP.

In Ondo, Akinsuroju joined the LP with the former Chairman of the Ondo State Law Commission, Barrister Segun Ogodo, a PDP senatorial aspirant in the Central District, Afolabi Omosuyi and most members of the dissolved council administrations in the last regime.

Also among the defectors was a pillar of the PDP in the Akoko area of the state and former member of the Civil Service Commission, Bailey Arohunmolase, who led a 16-bus load of supporters from his Epinmi-Akoko base to join the LP.

The list of defectors, which is drawn from the three senatorial districts of the state, also included party chieftains such as the State Women Leader of the PDP, Mrs. Aduke Olugboja and the incumbent Chairman of the party in the Ondo North Senatorial District, Reverend Olusegun Aduloju.

Others are Messrs Ojo Ojutalayo and Bola Ajakaye, who led hundreds of former PDP faithful from their various wards to an event described in the state as a pointer to the emergence of a one-party state in the state.

At a crowded rally attended by the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, who led the party state chairman, Dr. Olaiya Oni and other LP chieftains at the Akure Township Stadium, the defectors said they were drawn to the ruling party by the achievements of the governor in his 10-month old administration.

Amid singing and dancing, the defectors poured encomiums on the governor and hailed his administrative style, which they said was a far cry from what obtained during the last era.

Oni, who welcomed the new members into the fold of the Ondo LP told them that the ruling party will still abide by its pre-election slogan of “Room Enough for All” and that the new members would be fully integrated into the party and government.

Mimiko, who said that he was elated, mounted the podium to welcome the new entrants. He said he was happy that the good works of the LP in the state was already drawing encomiums from all and sundry.

He assured them that the party and the government would continue to be alive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the state saying, “I made a solemn pledge before you, the good people of Ondo State, of our commitment to bringing quality living. I remain committed to that pledge. I will work for you.”

In Yobe, it was learnt that all the 11 aggrieved legislators belong to the Senator Usman Albishir political factional camp of the ANPP.

An aggrieved lawmaker, who pleaded anonymity lamented that the manner in which the state Governor Ibrahim Gaidam is handling the affairs of people was unfortunate. He said that the governor’s actions contradict the pledges he made that he would retain and continue with the policies and programmes of the late Senator Mamman Ali.

He said that the “shelving and the revocations” of contracts for two hospitals at Potiskum and Gashua and conversion of the 17 boarding primary schools into junior secondary schools, were however, against the pledges the governor made to the people, while being sworn in by the Chief Judge at the Damaturu Government House.

At the national level, it is speculated that Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim and his wife, Khadija Bukar Abba, Senator Ahmed Lawan and Bukar Goni in the National Assembly on the platform of ANPP, may also join the 11 aggrieved legislators to decamp to the PDP.

The possible defection of Senator Abba Ibrahim and his wife was in spite of the assurance from Governor Gaidam that their tickets to contests in 2011 have been assured and retained.

According to an anonymous source from the Government House, “Governor Gaidam has conditionally assured Senator Ibrahim that his seat and that of his wife are not negotiable on the condition that the former governor now in the Senate will fully support Governor Gaidam’s political agenda in 2011.

The other three legislators at the National Assembly are however said to be uncertain ahead of 2011 as they were alleged to have been excluded from the recent ANPP verification exercise.

One of the disgruntled members of the House of Assembly who hail from Damaturu was said to have struck a deal with the governor to press on the former governor, Bukar Abba Ibrahim to drop his wife for him and contest election into the Federal House of Representatives.

It was confirmed that the initial agreement between the present and former governor, has now been flaunted with the governor, insisting that the former governor, Bukar Abba Ibrahim and his wife will retain their seats at the National Assembly.

A top member of the PDP in Damaturu, Alhaji Musa Umaru, was however sceptical on the moves of the aggrieved ANPP members to defect to PDP.

He said: “This offer may look so attractive but the leadership of the PDP is reluctant to accept, because there are vested interests. Some of the members of executive now want to contest in the next election. At the same time, these people who want to join the PDP also want to retain their seats. Because their hopes seem to be dashed where they were, they are now contemplating in shifting grounds but the need to be assured.”

Efforts to speak with the Speaker of the Yobe State House of Assembly, Usman Adamu, were not successful. The ANPP chairman in the state, Alhaji Sani Inua Nguru refused to answer telephone calls to either confirm the alleged grievances of the 11 legislators against Gaidam.



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