Following the heels of Tuesday’s massive loss of prominent members by the All Progressives Congress (APC), the opposition, particularly the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is set to make further inroads into the fold of the ruling party.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto
Some party leaders, made up of serving and erstwhile members of the National Assembly, Vanguard gathered, are set to quit the APC for the PDP, given the latter’s promise of a level playing field for all aspirants to the various elective positions in the 2019 elections.
But contrary to the allegations made by the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole that those who left the party did so because the party could not oblige their requests for automatic tickets, the PDP has denied offering any special favours for the defectors.
Rather than the offer of money or tickets, the PDP insists its re-branded platform would only provide a level playing ground for all.
Before Tuesday’s defection, the PDP Contact and Integration Committee led by former Cross River governor, Liyel Imoke had while meeting with its ex-members, assured them of a new beginning.
By this, all past ‘sins’ were forgiven and most of them made up their minds to return to the party as a result.
With Oshiomhole’s public umbrage against the APC defectors in the past few days; representatives of the party (PDP) have been meeting continuously with those yet to make their new position public.
Speaking exclusively with Saturday Vanguard, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said those who are still wondering whether to remain in the APC or join the PDP should realize that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would not take Nigeria anywhere, urging them to embrace the PDP’s mission to rescue the nation.
According to him, the APC national chairman is “living a lie,” stressing that it was the ruling party and not the opposition, that asked its aggrieved members to stay in exchange for automatic tickets.
“What we have for our members, including old, returning and new members is equal opportunity. We have said it that nobody would be victimized just as there are no special privileges for anyone.
“Oshiomhole is living a lie. Nigerians cannot be fooled. Truth is that they are the ones dangling carrots to convince its disgruntled members from dumping the APC ship when it became clear that the government of President Buhari would not take Nigeria anywhere,” he said.
Meanwhile, the expected defection of Sokoto state governor, Aminu Tambuwal to the PDP has been put on hold. This medium learnt that the decision to tarry a while is to enable the former Speaker of the House of Representatives hold further consultations with his loyalists and supporters, many of whom, are expected to leave the APC in show of solidarity with the governor.
Tambuwal is also said to have been counselled by some top traditional and religious leaders to play the waiting game for at least a week; a move not unconnected with his 2019 Presidential ambition, which is likely to elude him if he remain in the APC.
A highly-placed PDP source told our correspondent that Tambuwal’s imminent defection is being handled carefully because unlike others, his supporters would quit the ruling party for his sake.