On Friday, all 21 of the Labour Party’s local government area chairmen in Kogi State defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), dealing a major blow to the LP.
The chairmen and many of their supporters have flipped to the ruling APC.
Alhaji Abdullahi Bello, chairman of the state APC, reportedly welcomed them at the Lugard House in Lokoja, as reported by NAN.
Mr. Awe Kayode, the head of the defectors, claimed that they decided to merge into the APC so that they could vote for Usman Ododo, the governorship candidate of the APC, in the next election on November 11.
Kayode added that they felt the need to defect after realizing LP had no chance of winning in the state.
We left because we believe the APC candidate, Usman Ododo, is a unifier whose nationalist values are essential to building on Gov. Yahaya Bello’s successes.
I originally joined the APC but then switched to the Labour Party. Today, I’ve returned with a larger team that’s primed to make a positive impact. We still have the same folks who helped get LP over 76,000 votes in the last presidential election.
The state is for everyone, so we’re putting aside our differences in ethnicity and religion to vote for the APC candidate who supports the Kogi Agenda.
Indeed, the Labour Party organization in the state was formidable, delivering enormous votes to the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, without incentive or help; we want to do the same to the All Progressives Congress and to Ododo this time around, he stated.
To further unite the people and ensure even development across the board, Kayode explained, they decided to merge the LP structure into the APC and work with the progressives to implement the Kogi Agenda.
The LP chairman for Bassa LGA and LP Chairmen Forum chairman Jimba Emmanuel made a similar point: a political party is nothing more than a stepping stone to leadership.
He went on to say that excellent government was the result of dedicated people who wanted to see the benefits of democracy spread to the general populace.
He added that the governorship candidate of LP lacked the needed quality, hence their choice to depart “the sinking ship.”
“I and my colleagues here have agreed to mobilize all our structures across the 21 local government areas to deliver massive votes for the APC candidate come November 11,” he said.
Wemi Jones, Kogi’s Commissioner of Education, Science, and Technology, praised “Obidient Movement” leader Awe Kayode for his perseverance and ability to rally support.
Jones claimed that the large turnout demonstrated the sincerity of their choice to support the progressives.
To ensure the longevity and consolidation of the accomplishments made by Yahaya Bello’s government, he asked the defectors to join hands in canvassing and mobilizing for the success of the APC governorship candidate.
The defectors were received by Kogi APC Chairman Abdullahi Bello, who proclaimed, “APC is a party that believes in development, equality and has a good reward system.”