From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin
The former gubernatorial candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (AC N) and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State, Muhammed Dele Belgore and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have disagreed over the authenticity of supporters defection.
Belgore in a statement issued by his media aide, Mr Rafiu Ajakaiye denied a statement credited to the APC spokesman in the state, Alhaji Sulyman Buhari that supporters of Belgore have defected to the APC in the state.
Buhari had stated that over 2,000 youths under the aegis of Mohammed Dele Belgore (MDB) Solidarity Team who are mainly from Ilorin West local government defected because of leadership crises, misappropriation of party funds by PDP state executives and inaccessibility to Mr Dele Belgore.
According to him “The leader of the group, Mr Moshood Abdulsalam who hails from Ajikobi Ward in Ilorin West local government said, “Our defection is in the best interest of Kwara State. The PDP has been destroyed by corrupt state excos and the leadership tussle in my local government has left the party in disarray”.
But Belgore in his reaction said “our support base remains intact and stronger than it has ever been. We are not aware that anyone from our camp has defected to anywhere.
“That said, we note with satisfaction Kwara APC’s constant headache about the political stature of Mohammed Dele Belgore. The APC’s obsession with Belgore goes to show its constant fear about his possible candidature in the coming poll.
“We recall that back in February the APC in Kwara State addressed up to four news briefings just to express its frustration at Belgore’s defection to the PDP.
“Just last month, the APC issued up to three totally false and unfounded press releases to allege that Belgore had sponsored the disruption of voter’s registration exercise. We have since taken legal action on that reckless allegation.”
Belgore added that few months ago, the APC had sponsored a faceless and nonexistent group called the MDB Solidarity Group to defect to their drowning party only for an individual mentioned in their story to deny them.
“This latest antics is a further attempt by the APC to distract attention away from their obvious unpopularity with the people of Kwara State, caused by bad governance, failed promises, inept and incompetent leadership, proxy rule and corruption.
“Rather than concentrate on addressing their unpopularity problems with the people of Kwara State, they are wasting their time celebrating nonexistent defection of Belgore’s supporters.