It is a happy day for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari as a wave of defection hits the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the major opposition in the elections holding in February and March.
A former chief whip who belongs to the Sokoto state House of Assembly, Alhaji Bello Yahayya Wurno, defected from the PDP to the APC ahead of the 2019 general election. The latest wave of defections also include three former elected chairmen of Rabah local government, a former special adviser to Aminu Tambuwal and over 20,687 other members of the opposition also defected to the APC.
The members of the PDP, who dumped the opposition party on Saturday, January 12, were received into the APC at the flag off of the Sokoto state eastern zone campaign in Wurno and Rabah towns respectively and some of the prominent defectors are Alhaji Bello Yahayya Wurno, Alhaji Abubakar Hamma’Ali, Alhaji Chika Hamma’Ali, Alhaji Mohammed Rabah, Alhaji Yusuf Mohammed Rabah, Alhaji Ango Shehu Rabah, and Alhaji Alhassan Ibrahim Rarah. Others are former member of the Sokoto state House of Assembly, Alhaji Ibrahim Tsamiya, a former special adviser to governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Alhaji Husseini Gandi and an ex-caretaker councillor, Alhaji Tukur Mohammed, among others.
Alhaji Wurno, who spoke on behalf of the defectors from Wurno town, said they joined APC because of the tangible achievements of Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, when he held sway as governor of the state.
The defectors were assured by the leader of the APC in the state, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, that they would be treated fairly, justly and equally as the older members of the party.
In Niger State, the PDP has also lost core members as four former governorship aspirants of the party in the state crossed carpet to the ruling party along with their supporters.
The defectors were reportedly received by Adeniyi Adebayo, Deputy National Chairman, APC South, on behalf of the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomonle, at the launching of the state governorship campaign in Minna on Saturday.
The defectors are Ahmed Ibeto, Hanafi Sudan, Ahmed Baka, and Umaru Ahmed popularly known as Dogon Koli.
Mr Ibeto, who spoke on behalf of the defectors, gave assurance to work with the party to ensure the victory of APC during the general election.
At the occasion, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo expressed optimism that APC would win big during the national elections which hold in February and March. He said work had been completed on the Baro Port project, which would soon be commissioned as part of efforts to boost the economy of the state.
“I want to tell you that President Muhammadu Buhari is very committed to the well-being of Nigerians. The Lagos to Kano railway project is one of such commitments of this administration to ease movement of our people. The completion of Baro Port shows that this administration means well.”
Mr Osinbajo went on to describe Governor Abubakar Bello as a young and hardworking man who deserves another four years to continue with the infrastructure development of the state and appealed to the people of the state to support the re-election bid of the governor as well as other candidates of APC.
Earlier, Mr Bello expressed confidence that APC would win the forthcoming general election and appealed to the people to come out and vote massively for APC candidates
Rotimi Ameachi, Director General of Buhari Campaign Organisation, urged the electorate not to take the forthcoming general election for granted. He said that the election was between the rich and the poor, describing PDP as a party that stole resources meant for Nigerians for 16 years. He went on to note that the present administration had delivered on its 2015 campaign promises to fight corruption, insecurity and ensure economic development.
On its part, the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO) has claimed that reports that a Director General in the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign for the North East has decamped to the ruling party was an outright lie and said that it was unfortunate that, in the desperation to deceive Nigerians and create an impression that he is recovering from his diminished popularity, President Buhari would descend to sponsoring fake news in the social media.
Part of the statement read:
“For the avoidance of doubt, our Campaign Organization does not have a Director General in the North East as claimed in the malicious tweet. Our Campaign structure only has Zonal Coordinators and our Zonal Coordinator in the North East is Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe state. Moreover, Senator Saidu Kumo, who President Buhari is celebrating, as having dumped the Atiku Abubakar campaign to join his re-election bid, has never had anything to do with our Presidential campaign and has never been assigned any role, as nobody with corruption case is allowed any role in our campaign structure.
“Nigerians can now see how President Buhari, and APC who claim to be fighting corruption is embracing and celebrating persons with corruption cases and luring such persons to join President Buhari’s self succession bid with the promise to discharge their cases that are pending in court. The PPCO therefore urges Nigerians to disregard the claims by the Buhari Presidency and henceforth not rely on, but always thoroughly examine all information coming from the Buhari Campaign Organization as they have proven to be purveyors of fake news.”
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