Kogi election: Mass defection looms in PDP after controversial primary

Kogi election: Mass defection looms in PDP after controversial primary

- All may not be well in the camp of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Kogi state

- The controversial primary election by the PDP in the state may have triggered agitations within the party

- There is already an indication that the party might lose some of its key chieftains ahead of the governorship election

A report by Leadership newspaper indicates that all may not be well in the camp of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Kogi state, following an impending mass defection from the opposition party.

According to the report, the dust raised by the primary election that produced Engr Musa Wada is yet to settle as more PDP chieftains in the state have expressed their willingness to either defect to the opposition APC or stay within PDP and work against the party.

A PDP chieftain from Kogi West quoted in the report said the controversy that trailed the primary election may have ruined the chances of the party to return to power soon.

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According to the chieftain who spoke under the condition of anonymity, PDP may have turned the November 16 election to a no-contest for the incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello.

His words: “One of the founding fathers of the party in PDP and a former acting governor in the state, Hon. Clarence Olafemi is already gone. In Kogi politics, the fear of the likes of Olafemi is the beginning of wisdom.

“He was a former minority leader of the State Assembly; a former Speaker of the state House of Assembly and a former acting governor. For him to openly declare for Bello, it means the PDP is just waiting to collapse completely.

“Alh. Ibrahim Idris is our leader in Kogi state. He was governor for 8 years and also brought Capt. Idris Wada. The way and manner his son, Abu Ibro was treated during the primary was unfair and an insult on our leader. There is no way PDP can be the same again.

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“To add to the insults, Sam Aro was made the running mate to a greenhorn. Sam Aro was a former House of Reps members who has lost his last two elections. He is no more a force in Yagba politics. Hon Sunday Karimi is more on the ground in Yagba.

“The cream of people behind Abu Ibro are the real PDP people. And right now, they have made up their mind to work against Engr Musa Wada.”

In Kogi East, virtually all the PDP leaders in the camp of Ibrahim Idris have moved to the APC.

Also, a source close to the candidate of the PDP candidate quoted in the report said the candidate is under pressure from his creditors even as he scouts for funds to prosecute the election.

His words: “I must confess to you that the only hope we have is if Alh. Ibrahim Idris will forgive us and support Engr Wada. Suleiman Idris did his best for us to defeat his brother, Abu Ibro during the primary. But I am aware funds were borrowed to execute the primary.

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“Strategically, we targeted the primary election and didn’t bother to visit everywhere in the buildup to the primary. Now, those creditors are making life difficult for us by demanding their money as things look tight for us.

“Capt Idris Wada has shown a great spirit of sportsmanship but he can’t match that with funds. He couldn’t even fund his primary properly. So the only hope we have now is to persuade Alhaji Ibro to support us.”

Meanwhile, a former acting governor of Kogi state, Clarence Olafemi, has said he may soon defect to the APC due to the injustices he has suffered in the PDP.

Olafemi on Sunday, 15 September, at his residence in Lokoja said he cannot continue to stay in the party which he accused of cheating him several times.

The former governor stated that the national working committee of the party had failed to recognise his input and effort for the party despite being one of the strong members of PDP in the state.

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