More than 370,000 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Jigawa state.
This Day reports that eight APC governors and Chief John Oyegun, the party’s national chairman, received the defectors on Sunday, December 20, in Dutse.
The governors present at the occasion were Alhaji Bindo Jibrila (Adamawa state), Alhaji Abubakar Bello (Niger state), Alhaji Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi state) and Alhaji Bello Masari (Katsina state).
Others were Alhaji Muhammed Abubakar (Bauchi state), Alhaji Kasim Shetima (Borno state), Alhaji Abdulazeez Yari (Zamfara) and Hafiz Abubakar, deputy governor of Kano state.
Addressing the defectors, Oyegun stressed that anyone who truly loves Nigeria and believes in the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is always welcome to the party. He noted that the calibre of the defectors was an indication that the party was on the right track.
The APC’s national chairman also commended Muhammad Badaru for his good leadership in the state which led to the harvest of former PDP chieftains in the state.
In his speech, Badaru assured the defectors that the APC would be fair to them and that they would be treated like the old members of the party.
The defectors included 16 serving local government chairmen Alhaji Ibrahim Khalid, the state chairman of the Association of Local Government Chairmen, eight serving vice-chairmen of local councils in the state and Alhaji Lawal Abdu, the immediate past secretary to the state government.
The list also included Alhaji Hameed Malammadori, the ex-minister of power and steel, Alhaji Saminu Turaki, a former governor of the state, Alhaji Mustapha Kiyawa, a former member of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Bashir Adamu, Alhaji Yusuf Galambi and some members of the House.
Speaking on behalf of the defectors, Alhaji Bashir Adamu revealed that they dumped the PDP because they were no longer comfortable with the party. He also promised to work with the APC at all levels to bring a positive change to the people.
Earlier this month, Senator Gbenga Aluko, the only senator elected in 1999 in the entire southwest on the platform of the PDP, defected to the APC.
Speaking during the defection ceremony, Aluko announced that he would use his connections in the state to ensure that the PDP is defeated in 2018.