By Ochiaka Ugwu
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may lose its strangle hold on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),if nothing is done urgently to stem the tide of mass defections that has hit the party in the last few months.
Of the six Area Councils in the FCT, PDP controls five while the All Progressives Congress (APC), controls just one currently. The ruling party also produced the two members of the House of Representatives and the only Senate seat from the FCT. But all these seem not to be going well any more for the PDP, especially since Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari emerged the Presidential candidate of the opposition APC.
Peoples Daily gathered that many big wigs of the PDP in different Area Councils have been defecting to the APC in droves. In Kuje Area Council, for instance, leading PDP members from the 10 political wards that make up the council recently defected to the opposition party. Among the defectors are the immediate past Speaker of Kuje Legislative council, Hon. Abdullahi Danladi Galadima, another former Speaker, Hon. Matthew Bazheke who hails from Kebe Ward, a former councilor from Chibiri Ward, Hon. Yinusa Peseli.
Others are Hon. John Jijingba (also a former councilor from Kwaku Ward), a former special assistant to former Chairman of the Area Council, Danladi Etsu Zhin, Hon. Jibrin Sabo, another former S.A. to Zhin, Hon. Robo Peseli, as well as Alhaji Danladi Atoko , Hon. Uban and Alhaji Abubakar Sabo, among many others.
Over 20 such strong grass root leaders of the PDP in from all the Area Council, formally defected to the APC last Tuesday when they trooped to the Area Council office of the party along Kuje-Gwagwalada Road.
Speaking at the occasion, Hon. Abdullahi who spoke on behalf of the defectors said they left the PDP for the APC because of the positive change they see that the party represents especially in the way and manner it choose its Presidential candidate last month. He added that they want to be part of the change agents that APC has been preaching instead of sitting on the fence” he said.
Responding, the APC Chairman in Kuje Area council, Mr. Godwin Zabesna Poyi, said, “I welcome you all and I appreciate your coming into our party, the APC. Please don’t take yourselves as new members of this party. You have equal rights and opportunities with those who joined the party at inception. I plead with you to join hands with the rest of us to effect that change Nigerians are clamoring for”.
It was gathered that the FCT leadership of the APC, is planning to officially receive the defectors at an elaborate ceremony in Kuje sometime this week. It was also gathered that so many PDP members in the other five Area Councils of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Bwari, Abaji, Kwali and Gwagwalada have been decamping to the APC.