The Governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the last general elections in Ogun State, Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka (GNI) on Tuesday led thousands of members of his Believe Movement to decamp to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
A two-time former Deputy Governor of the State, under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration between 2003 and 2011, Alhaja Salmat Badru also led a faction of PDP supporters into the APC.
At the mega rally, held at the Palace ground of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo in Abeokuta, the State capital, other prominent politicians, including former State PDP Chairman, Joju Fadairo, former PDP member of the House of Representative, Dave Salako, former PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) member, Chief Iyabo Apampa and former Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Ayo Odugbesan also defected to the party.
The defectors were received and presented the APC flag and symbol of the party by the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the party in the State, Chief Yemi Sanusi, Governor Dapo Abiodun and the SouthWest Zonal Secretary of APC, Ayo Afolabi, who represented the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomole.
Governor Abiodun while addressing thousands of APC supporters at the rally, made a veil reference to the “alleged” defection of the Governorship candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Abdukabir Akinlade and his supporters to the APC, describing them as people trying to join the party through the “backdoor.”
Governor Abiodun who noted that with the defection, the State had become a one party State, said, “Anyone cannot say he is joining us (APC) through the backdoor or through the window, that is illegal. If anyone wants to join us, he will come through the proper channel. This is the only way to join the party, this is the only acceptable way to join the party.”
He urged members of the party to go back to the ward and local government levels to build the party, saying “From now on, we should start building the party from the ward and local government levels. We should go back to our wards and local government and start holding meetings regularly.”
“We are all one now under one united party. I want us to work together, I do not want discrimination between anyone in the party. We are going join hands to build our future together. All those that have just joined us today with those of us that have been here before, we are now joining hands to build the future of Ogun State together and with all of us, Ogun State will achieve the greatest heights by the grace of God.”
“I want to assure that we are not yet through with the appointment of political office holders. We are aware that you are coming to join us and so we have kept some appointments just for you.”
“We still have a lot, and we will ensure that everybody has a sense of belonging and a sense of participation, so please do not worry, we are now one and the same family”, the Governor said.
Isiaka in his remark stressed that his decision to join the APC was hinged on his determination to serve the people.
His words, “The decision to serve was hinged on the urge to contribute to a Life of Abundance in Ogun State utilizing our God-given resources and potentials; ensuring a legacy of growth and development for today, ensuring equity and fairness in the State development stride and secure the future of coming generation.”
“Our Movement (Believe Movement) is deeply Progressive in its ideological orientation with focus on progressive program and policies such as human capital development (health and education), good wage policy, a functional and well-funded pension scheme, progressive economic policies, caring for the weak and vulnerable in the society (social welfare) and infrastructural development.”
“It is gratifying to note that these same programs constitute the cornerstone of the All Progressive Congress which we have decided to join the ranks of millions of its membership in the State today.”
“The outcomes of the last election, despite not going in the manner we envisaged, did not bow our head and; as I have always maintained that once elections are over, governance must take centre stage. It was therefore gratifying when His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun – as a Governor Elect at the time – extended the hand of fellowship to me and our people. Subsequent interaction afterwards were largely to evaluate his intentions and ideas for Ogun State people,” Isiaka said.
The Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Yemi Sanusi in his remark said, “Today is another milestone in the political history of Ogun State. Ever since the party won the 2019 election, out door has been opened to everyone to join us.
He commended the Governor for his all inclusive policy, saying the policy had yielded positive results.