Year in Review: 9 High-Profile Defections That Shook Nigeria in 2021

Year in Review: 9 High-Profile Defections That Shook Nigeria in 2021

The year 2021 was full of high-profile defections that left the political scene shocked ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Though the defections were mostly from opposition parties to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also shared in the joy of defection.

high-profile defections in 2021
2021 witnessed some major defections that shook up the political space. Photo credit: Sir Benedict Ayade, Governor Bello Matawalle, Shehu Sani, Femi Fani-Kayode
Source: Facebook

Recall that Lagos4Lagos Movement, a faction of APC in Lagos state joined the opposition's fold.

Apart from the two siiting governors, defection became a regular thing for lawmakers, especially at the National Assembly where a month hardly passed without one or two members leaving for another party. in this piece take a look at the some defections that stood out in 2021;

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1. Prof. Ben Ayade

The Cross River state governor, officially ditched the opposition and pitched his tent with the ruling APC.

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In May, Ayade revealed his decision in a meeting with six APC governors who visited him at the Government House.

2. Alhaji Bello Matawalle

The Zamfara state governor joined APC back in June just like his Cross River state counterpart.

The official defection took place in Gusau, the state capital at an event attended by some APC governors and chieftains.

3. Stella Oduah

Nigeria's former minister of aviation, joined the APC in August. Stella claimed she joined the party to change the political narrative in the South-East.

4. Femi Fani-Kayode

Fani-Kayode, a strong critic of the Muhammadu Buhari administration officially defected from the opposition to the APC in September

The former minister of aviation said he had been a founding member of the APC .

5. Shehu Sani

The former lawmaker representing Kaduna Central in the Nigerian Senate, dumped the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) for the PDP.

Sani left the ruling party for the PRP after a fallout with Governor Nasir El-Rufai.

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6. Otunba Gbenga Daniel

The former governor of Ogun state and campaign manager for the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in 2019, Atiku Abubakar, ditched the opposition for the ruling party.

Daniel said his decision to decamp became necessary following his support for Governor Dapo Abiodun.

7. Senator Florence Ita-Giwa

Ita-Giwa, a former Special Adviser to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo again dumped the PDP for APC.

In 2017, she dumped the PDP for the APC, before returning a year later, describing the ruling party as the home of confusion.

8. Donald Duke

A former governor of Cross River State, returned to the PDP from the Social Democratic Party, where he contested the 2019 presidential election.

9. Iyiola Omisore

The former deputy governor of Osun state defected from the SDP to the APC.

From serving governors, lawmakers and other politicians both the ruling and opposition parties gained valuable members.

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Many have, however, condemned the defection from the political parties that brought these politician to office, saying it can be detrimental to the future of democracy in the country.

Buhari's top minister planning to return to PDP? New opposition chairman opens up previously reported that the newly inugurated national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyorchia Ayu said Senator George Akume, is on his way back to the oposition.

Akume, a two-time governor of Benue under the PDP between 1999 and 2007, is the current minister of special duties and intergovernmental affairs.

Ayu made the statement at the defection ceremony of John Dyegh, the House of Representatives member for Gboko/Tarka constituency.


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