In politics, especially the type practiced by Nigerians, so long as power and other benefits are guaranteed, alliances can be sacrificed, hence the continuous myriads of defections such as the ones from Peoples Democratic Party to All Progressives Congress and vice versa.
2021 has witnessed a number of such carpet crossing among many former PDP bigwigs who at different times swore to remain in the opposition and repeatedly denied claims to the contrary.
In this piece, at least three governors, Ben Ayade (Cross River), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) will be x-rayed, including a former minister of aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode.
A publication by The Cable in 2018 reported that the Cross River governor through Christian Ita, his chief press secretary, denied viral claims that he has dumped the PDP.
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In the report, Ita noted that although his principal enjoys a cordial relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, the rumours are nothing but fake.
He categorically stated:
“There is absolutely no truth to the report that Governor Ayade is defecting to the APC. It is fake news; it is the fertile imagination of the author of the report.
“The governor has a relationship with the president based on governance. So there is a need for us as a people to understand that governance is different from politics. Ayade is a committed PDP member.”
Needless to say, this claim went down the drain in May 2021 when photos and confirmed reports of the governor's defection to the ruling party flooded the media.
Like his Cross River counterpart, Umahi in the same year denied allegations that he had concluded plans to join the APC.
At the time Uzor alleged that the fake news was being spread by the ruling party in a bid to reinvent its relevance.
“So, what they are saying concerning defection is just to make people believe that they are still on ground; they are no longer on ground. The governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, made it point-blank before that he has never mulled joining the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The reason is that he has done well as a party Chairman, Deputy Governor, and now as Governor. And the PDP is on ground. And there is no reason joining the APC. It is just a wishful thinking. What APC does now is that they are wishing that the governor should join them."
In a 2019 video shared by Saraha Reporters, the Zamfara governor reportedly swore: "May Allah punish me, not let me live in peace if I dump PDP."
But with a lot of wooing from some pillars in the ruling party, this strong vow grew weaker until it finally give way to a stunning decision to accept the APC membership card.
Famous for being an ardent critic of the Buhari-led administration and of course the APC, the former minister of aviation was in 2019 reported by Daily Trust to have uttered these words:
“I am committed to opposing the APC and those that are in their ranks for the rest of my natural life and I will never join them no matter what!”
Below are remarks also attributed to him by the same publication:
What I discussed with Buhari, Fani-Kayode finally reveals after his defection from PDP to APC
Meanwhile, Fani-Kayode, said he had an excellent meeting with President Buhari on Thursday, September 16, at Aso Rock.
Legit.ng reported that the ex-minister made this known on his official Facebook page while addressing Nigerians on the early morning of Friday, September 17.
He said the president received him warmly and was delighted he joined the APC.