More than a thousand members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Mashegu, one of the local government areas (LGAs) in Zone C, where the incumbent governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, hails from.
Daily Trust reports that the ceremony for the decampees took place at the Government Secondary School Saho-Rami.
In their comments while receiving the defectors, a former speaker of Niger State House of Assembly, Muhammad Muhammad Alkali, and a former commissioner for Religious Affairs in the cabinet of the former Governor, Alhaji Shehu Haruna Kumbashi, said the defection was a testimony that the APC administration had failed the people.
They assured the defectors that the PDP would carry everybody along as a family, adding that the party had learnt from its mistake and was ready to reclaim power from the ruling APC.
Speaking on behalf of the defectors, Malam Manir Muhammad, said they took the decision to rejoin the PDP because Governor Sani Bello had reneged on his promise to address the infrastructural challenges facing the LGA which necessitated their support for him.
“It is disheartening that having promised to address infrastructural problems in our council, which led to overwhelming support for the governor, who is from our zone, he abandoned us,” he said, adding that “we are better off under the PDP and that is why we have rejoined the party.”
PDP Harvests APC Chieftain In Bayelsa
In the same vein, a chieftain of the APC in Bayelsa State, Jackson Suokiri, was among those who defected to the PDP on Monday at Odi in Kolokuma Okpokuma Local Government of Bayelsa State.
The Nation reports that Suokiri, who was a former secretary of PDP and defected to APC before the 2015 general election, was among the faithful who welcomed Governor Seriake Dickson to Odi community when he visited the place on Monday to celebrate the New Year Day.
Dickson admonished the political class to connect with the people, especially at the grassroots and not only when they needed their votes.
He said: “The power of the people is the most potent weapon you can find anywhere in the world; more potent than any armoury. The difference between me and many politicians is that I am a countryman. I connect with the people, I feel their pains, when they are happy I am happy and vice versa. I appreciate the people because they have made me what I am and above all, they have made PDP the strongest party, the only party that can win election in our state.
“For those who seek political office, we must not go out to hurt people for their welfare and interest should ordinarily be the reason for being in politics. We should be civil as we carry out our activities in 2018, being a crucial year before the elections.”
The Chief Whip of the House of Assembly and a member representing Kolokuma/Opokuma Constituency I, Tonye Isenah, described Suokiri as a high profile politician, who had traversed the political landscape for decades, noting that his return would positively impact on PDP in the local government.
He enjoined other APC members to retrace their steps, “as PDP remains the party of every right thinking Bayelsan, who means well for the state and its people.”