A wave of defection has swept across the camp of the Peoples Democratic Paarty (PDP), carrying off 6 of the 8 PDP members of the Lagos state House of Assembly, and dropping them off in the camp of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The defection was announced on Thursday, February 16.
The lawmakers spoke after the acting clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, read a letter dated February 16 and signed by the defectors, indicating that they had decided to join the APC.
In the letter, the lawmakers said they were taking the step due to the division and infighting which had factionalised their party.
The lawmakers include: Mr Akeem Bello (Amuwo Odofin II) who was Minority Leader and the Minority Whip, Mrs Mosunmola Sangodara (Surulere II).
Others are Mr Jude Idimogu (Oshodi/Isolo II), Mr Dayo Famakinwa (Ajeromi Ifelodun II), Mr Oluwa Fatai (Ajeromi/Ifelodun I) and Mr Olusola Sokunle (Oshodi/Isolo I).
With the defection, only two members – Mr Victor Akande (Ojo I) and Mr Dipo Olorunrinu (Amuwo-Odofin I) are now in the opposition.
Famakinwa said on the floor of the House that the achievements of Gov Akinwunmu Ambode also inspired him to join the APC.
Also, the member representing Ajeromi/Ifelodun constituency, Oluwa, said his reason for joining APC was due to feud between the Sen. Ali-Modu Sheriff-led and Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi-led factions of PDP.
Idimogu, on his part, said: “APC is better. I don’t know how to appreciate the good work of the governor than to join his party to move the state forward.”
According to Sokunle, the decision to align with the ruling party is borne out of his desire to move his constituency forward.
The only female among the defectors, Sangodara, said she also took the step to serve her constituents better.
“We are all aware of what is happening in PDP,” she said.
The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa welcomed the new members the lawmakers to APC and commended them for their decision.
Other APC lawmakers also rose to welcome the defectors into party and exchange handshakes with them.
Meanwhile, the Enugu state chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday called on elder statesman and former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme to stop weeping for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He had declared that anytime he remembered the story of the party, he felt like weeping.
Reacting to Ekwueme’s statement, the Enugu APC through its Publicity Secretary, Mrs. Kate Ofor said Ekwueme should instead of weeping for PDP, weep for Nigerians, who were depraved, bankrupted and deeply wounded by the unbridled corruption which was the trademark of the 16 years PDP’s rule.
According to Mrs. Offor, Ekwueme should weep for millions of Nigerian youths whose future were punctured by the looting of our commonwealth, hence decayed infrastructure, poor quality education and gross unemployment.
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“Or do we talk of thousands of mothers whose children go to bed hungry in the midst of plenty?
“Our empathy goes to His Excellency, on his regrets that, ‘In 1999, we ended up with 21 out of 36 governors; South East and South South were all PDP. It was a strong showing, we also had control of the National Assembly; with that showing, all we needed to do was to manage the party properly as envisaged by the founding fathers, making it a mass movement and expanding its power base.
“The scenario envisaged by the founding fathers of the PDP floundered when billions of dollars were pocked and doled out by the high placed government officials, as exemplified by the former Managing Director of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu. We cannot forget as well how the $23 billion meant for three Greenfield Refineries grew wings, leading to the present stress on the national currency, due to daily importation of refined petroleum products,” Mrs Offor said.
The Enugu APC spokesperson appealed to Ekwueme to weep for Nigerians, not for PDP, “which squandered our golden opportunity and nearly led Nigeria into a failed state.”
The party’s reaction followed Ekwueme’s emotional statement while receiving members of the party’s Strategy Committee at his house in Enugu.