- A few weeks to the governorship election in Osun, the state's chapter of the opposition PDP has been hit with mass defections
- No fewer than 10,000 members from different wards, local government areas and federal constituencies of the state dumped the PDP for the APC
- The notable names among the defectors are Wale Ojo, factional state chairman of PDP, and Hon Albert Adeogun, running mate to the PDP candidate in the 2018 guber election
Osogbo, Osun state - No fewer than 10,000 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) reportedly defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun state on Monday, June 27.
Nigerian Tribune reported that the defection took place at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo, the state capital.
Legit.ng gathers that Hon Wale Ojo, factional state chairman of PDP, and Hon Albert Adeogun, running mate to the PDP candidate in the 2018 governorship election in Osun, were among those who dumped the PDP for the APC.
Other notable names who joined the ruling party are the former member of the House of Representatives; Ayodele Asalu (Asler), House of Representatives aspirant in Ede Federal Constituency and Soji Ibikunle, a party stalwart.
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It was also learnt that the numbers of the defectors cut across different wards, local government areas and federal constituencies of the state.
The defection comes a few weeks before the conduct of the governorship election in Osun state.
Osun 2022: Why we defected from PDP to APC - Wale Ojo
Speaking on behalf of the defectors, Hon Wale Ojo attributed their decision to defect to the ruling party to the need to align with a symbol of excellence and progress in Governor Oyetola.
“Joining the opposition in Osun is like joining forces with wasters. Parties that have become serial failures are not worth following for anyone who is serious and driven by excellence.
"That is why we have come to align with a symbol of excellence and progress in Governor Oyetola."
Former PDP deputy governorship candidate Adeogun praises Oyetola
In his own remark, Albert Adeogun, running mate of PDP’s candidate in the 2018 governorship election, lauded Oyetola for bringing stability to the troubled political situation of the state, adding that a vote for Oyetola is a vote for liberation.
“Today, we have come to align with the progressive party to contribute to the great work that is being done. We hail the governor, who in spite of the lean purse of the state has steadied the sinking ship.
“When we belonged to the opposition, we had strong campaign messages against APC, but Oyetola has attended to all those issues and taken away the venom of PDP. Every citizen should be informed and guided that a vote for Oyetola is a vote for liberation."
Omisore receives defectors
While receiving them into the party fold, the National Secretary of the APC, Senator Iyiola Omisore, welcomed the defectors for taking the right decision to join the development train of the progressive government in the State.
Omisore described their choice as noble and thoughtful saying, they were back into the family that provides an atmosphere of equality and justice.
“We have received you wholeheartedly and welcomed you into an atmosphere of equality and justice.
"We invite you to join hands with us and let us work together for the development of our beloved Osun and our nation.”
Governor Oyetola commends new APC members
Addressing the ecstatic defectors and party faithful, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola commended the new members for taking a bold and decisive step to enhance their political stature, saying that APC is known for fair play.
“I congratulate our friends and brothers who have made a critical decision for their political careers and fortunes. You have come at the right time and you have nothing to fear.
"You are already members, there will be no discrimination whatsoever. Senator Omisore is a testimony that our party values people of substance and gives a fair chance to all.”
Political thugs, cult groups may threaten Osun election, observers warn
Meanwhile, Yiaga Africa, a leading election observer group, has raised an alarm that the Osun governorship election billed for Saturday, July 16 may be threatened by activities of political thugs and cult groups.
This was contained in Yiaga Africa's Watching The Vote Pre-election observation report for Osun state made available to Legit.ng on Monday, June 13.
The organisation said it deployed long-term observers to all 30 local government areas in Osun state to assess preparatory activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) towards the election, the security planning, activities of election stakeholders, campaigns, and activities of political parties, and voter education in the state and violence monitoring.