No fewer than 63 Chieftains of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Idanre Local Government Area of Ondo State defected with hundreds of their followers to the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Friday.
Among the chieftains are Chief Banji Kuroloja, former Personal Secretary to the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo; Chief Korede Duyile, Prof. John Jejela, Chairman, PDP Elders’ Forum, Idanre Local Government; Architect Idowu Akinseye, former Special Adviser to former Governor Olusegun Mimiko; Marcus Adeoti, Lad Owoseni, Kaki former Chairman Timber finishers; Brigadier Omogbemi, Hon. Oludele former Secretary Idanre LG; Mrs Jejelola and many others.
Speaking on behalf of the defectors, Prof. John Jejela said they have collapsed the entire structure of PDP in Idanre Local Government Area for APC.
He assured that they would boost the strength of APC in the local government in preparation for all the forthcoming elections in the state, particularly the governorship election.
Prof. Jejela said the APC chairman in Ondo State is majorly responsible for the facilitation of their defection. He therefore thanked Engr. Ade Adetimehin on behalf of his fellow defectors and their followers in the state for accepting them to their fold.
“Today, we collapsed the structure of PDP in Idanre Local Government Area for APC and we promise to boost the strength of APC in this local government.”
While accepting the defectors to his party, the State Chairman of APC, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, who is also from Idanre Local Government, revealed that the crop of chieftains of PDP, who decamped to his party were the people, who always gave him and his party a tough time during elections.
He declared that, with their defection to his party, APC would be having a field day in all elections in the local government.
Adetimehin said: “I am happy today that these strong chieftains of PDP decamped to our party, APC.
I can authoritatively tell you that these are the strong machineries of the PDP who always gave us a tough time during elections in Idanre Local Government.
“Although we haven’t lost the governorship election here -we won the last two governorship elections-we are now doubly sure that we shall henceforth be having a field day whenever election holds in this local government”.
The chieftains came in large numbers with their numerous followers from all the wards in Idanre Local Government.
They have collapsed the structure of PDP for our party, APC, in Idanre Local Government. This is one of the largest harvests we’ve ever had in a swoop in this local government.
“We providing a level playing field for everyone in APC irrespective of when you join us. We have become one family with one goal of providing good government for our people.”
The Commissioner for Environment, who is from the local government, Hon. Sunday Akinwalere, said the development brought to Idanre by the APC-led government was also responsible for the defection.
He disclosed that before the advent of the administration, there was only a road leading to Idanre town, but link roads have been constructed by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration.
A former member of the National Assembly, who represented Akoko South East/Akoko South West Federal Constituency in the Eighth Assembly (2015-2019), Hon. Kolawole Babatunde, said the defectors were convinced by the performance of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration in the state.
He expressed optimism that more members of the PDP and other lesser political parties in the state would soon dissolve into APC.
Hon. Babatunde, who is currently the Special Adviser (Community Development) to Governor Akeredolu, assured that the administration would continue to provide all necessary amenities for rural dwellers across all the 18 local government areas in the state.
Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olumide Oladiji said the strong members of the PDP who decamped to APC have seen the development being brought to the state by the APC-led government in the state.
He noted that they took a good step by joining APC rather than watching from the sideline.
Member of the State House of Assembly, representing Idanre Constituency, Princess Tosin Ogunlowo-Ajirotutu disclosed that the remnants of PDP chieftains in the local government would soon join APC.
She said: “I can assure you that before long the remaining chieftains of PDP who are left behind will join us.
“They are still studying the situation, but definitely in a couple of weeks, we shall gather here again to receive them into APC.
“Their leaders have collapsed PDP structure for us, APC today and there’s no controversy about that”.