From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin
No fewer than 5,000 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Asa and Ilorin West local government areas of Kwara State defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The decampees led by a university don, Dr Sa’ad Omoiya joined Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and Dr Bukola Saraki at the campaign rally held at Alanamu area, Ilorin the state capital.
Omoiya is also a close political ally of Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), the coordinator of President Jonathan campaign team in Kwara.
His sudden appearance at Alanamu ward, one of the venues of APC campaign caused a steer among the crowd of supporters. Omoiya had followed Belgore into the PDP when the Saraki group joined the APC.
While addressing APC supporters, Omoiya told the crowd that he dump the PDP which he described as a burning fire and seek shelter in the APC which he said has enough water to quench the fire of the ruling party.
He said, “don’t be surprised to see me here, I have been working with the late Olooye in the 70s but due to differences in understanding that was why we changed parties and when we moved to ACN and you came and join us in the APC, we thought we could move away not knowing that we were moving into a big fire. So I have decided to come out of the fire to where there is water. We will ensure victory for the APC; we will fight with all that we have to ensure our victory.”
Speaking with journalists in Wara Osin another decampee, Hajia Aminat Abdullahi said the leaders of the party have no plans for them as members.
“Our party leaders are selfish and not interested in the progress of the people; all they do is use us for their purposes and dump us afterwards” she lamented.
At Ajikobi ward, home base of the APC leader in the state, Dr Bukola Saraki, about 500 members of the PDP defected to the APC and tore their membership cards at the venue.
The decampee at Wara Osin/Egbejila, Badari, Ubandawaki, Ajikobi, OjuEkun/Sarumi and Alanamu wards, all in Ilorin West council area also discarded their PDP cards before the APC supporters .
While welcoming the new APC members, state Chairman of the party, Alhaji Ishola Balogun- Fulani described the move as a thoughtful and timely decision every Nigerian should make.
He restated APC’s commitment to fairness, justice and equity in Kwara and Nigeria at large.
He also charged the decampees on collection of their permanent voter’s card and active participation in the forthcoming elections.