APC defectors strengthen PDP in Taraba

Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba

Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba

When the Taraba State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) suffered defeat from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2015 general elections, it was expected that the leadership of APC would immediately go back to the drawing board to put its house in order ahead of the 2019 elections.

However instead of doing that, the party appears not to be treading the paths that would fortify its chances in the next elections as The Guardian rightly observed by way of the mass defection of members of the APC to PDP.

Despite the fact that the APC almost defeated the ruling party in the governorship poll but for the intervention of the judiciary, which set aside the rulings of the State’s Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that had earlier favoured the APC’s candidate, Alhassan Aisha Jumai, now Minister of Women Affairs, the leadership of the party in Taraba seem to have gone to sleep.

Wondering what might have been responsible for the recent laissez-faire attitude of the APC’s leadership to its near victory, political analysts are of the view that the party may not have the chance of ending the two decades of PDP rule, if it fails to wake up to the challenge.

Top on the list of the defected members of the rival APC to the ruling PDP are some of its state executive including the Secretary of the party, Tony Baba Suleiman and Chairman of Sarduana Local Government Council, Yusuf Gori Taminu.

Giving lack of internal democracy as the reason for pitching tent with the PDP, the two former APC leaders who are now taking refuge in the ruling party, disclosed that more of the disenchanted APC executive and their teeming supporters would soon join them in their new abode.

Visibly overwhelmed by the reception organized for him by the PDP, Suleiman expressed confidence that very soon many members of his former party would defect to the PDP saying, “our teeming supporters have also resigned their membership of the party.”

He lamented that the leadership of the APC in Taraba woefully failed to extend the much needed hands of friendship to the members especially those that worked tirelessly round the clock to bring the party into the limelight in the state.

He said, “This is one of the numerous reasons I left the APC. I wondered how the APC would beat the ruling PDP if it continues with the kind of attitude it demonstrated to its members after the 2015 elections and the travails of going through the courts.

“As if it is not enough that the leadership of the APC in Taraba is bereft of ideas and is directionless, they have restored to the petty politics of sidelining, lack of inclusiveness and abandonment of the few supporters that had their backing and gave them life.”

Vowing not to tread the paths of some prominent politicians in the state and in the country, Suleiman said he is not going to be jumping from party to party nor continue to change parties like wrappers.

According to him, “As a truly detribalised and objective citizen of Taraba, who wants the best for our state, there is no need to think twice before switching or re-channel our energy, service and join hands with this visionary government of the day, for the betterment and development of our state.”

Suleiman who was of the view that the present state of his former party is not in the interest of the people appealed to his colleagues that were still waiting in the APC to as a matter of urgency make their ways to the PDP.

He said, “It is against this backdrop that we hereby call on all our supporters to join hands with us as we take a march in the interest of our dear state and our people.”

Impressed by the mass defection, the PDP Chairman, Victor Bala Kona said the APC has a virus that needed to be eradicated from the country in the forthcoming polls.

According to him, “The APC dream is to make the people of the country mendicants in the midst of abundance,” adding that irrespective of politics, ethnicity and religious affiliations, Nigerians should rise up and stop the APC from controlling the centre in the next election “we should all rise up and pray and work for the eradication of the APC in 2019.”

While admonishing interested opposition party members to join the PDP, Kona said his party remains the most viable in Taraba “since 1999 till date, the PDP has been ruling Taraba. Our door is open to any person or group who want to join.”

The Chief of Staff to the governor, Rebo Usman said all efforts by the rival APC to distract Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku would not succeed.

Usman, who spoke on behalf of the governor, added that the administration would not relent in its efforts to ensure that expected dividends of democracy would be delivered to the people of the state as earlier promised “our utmost is to continue to initiate policies that would uplift the lives of the people.”

He said the people of the state would continue to remain one despite the gimmicks of the rival APC to sow the seeds of discord among the people, he assure Tarabans that PDP would continue to work round the clock to herald the much-needed growth to the entire axis of the state.

However some leaders of the APC described the defection as inconsequential saying, “It would have no effect of the dream of the party to terminate the control of the ruling party come 2019.”

In his view, former chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), who is now a leader in the APC, Alhaji Danjuma Isa Munga, told The Guardian that all those defecting from the party to PDP, are civil minded people who are not politically relevant

Stressing that their defection would not debar the APC from triumphing in the next general elections, Munga further enjoined his members to remain steadfast saying, “don’t allow the PDP to induce you for whatever purpose. The ruling party has done nothing to warrant its continuity in power beyond 2019.The PDP has done nothing meaningful to develop Taraba State.”

A political analyst, who refused to disclose his name in print, wondered on the rationale behind the mass movement of members of the APC to PDP “when it is obvious that the PDP is heading towards Golgotha.”

Citing the upheaval that is presently threatening the PDP at the national level, the analyst said such persons decamping to PDP are politicians who cannot read between the lines “from what is currently on ground, it is very clear that the PDP can no longer form government at the centre in any given general election.”

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