By Hammed Shittu
The intral party crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara state Thursday took a new dimension as no fewer than 10,000 members of the party decamped to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
The decampees were mostly from Kwara north senatorial district, the stronghold of Kwara state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
The aggrieved former APC members had last week in a statement announced their defection plan and made good that decision Thursday at a brief ceremony at the PDP state secretariat in Ilorin, the state capital.
Those that were physically present at the event were representatives picked across the five local government areas in Kwara north, in adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols.
The leader of the group, Hon. Manzuma Kawu Dogo, claimed that “we are about 10, 000 in number across the 58 wards in the district “.
Dogo said that they decided to leave the ruling APC because of conflict and crisis among party leaders and members, allegedly caused by non-adherence to the party’s constitution.
Pointing out the political crisis among APC members, Dogo added that the development did not allow growth but decline.
He said party members were de-enfranchised, miserable and no longer had sense of belonging due to unfulfilled campaign promises.
“Along the line, the centre cannot hold and things fall apart as a result of injustice, lack of fairness, recognition and sense of belonging to the party members,” he added.
He said the next local government elections would mark gradual extinction of the ruling APC from the state .
” After waiting for a year, we discovered that the truth has prevailed, necessitating our movement as against compromising our principle. It is high time for us to maintain our clear noble principle towards bringing positive changes and betterment to our people. As you can see there is nothing in the PDP to share now to anyone, therefore our decamping from APC to PDP is based on conviction, ” Dogo clarified.
Welcoming the decampees, the PDP state chairman, Hon.Kola Shittu, described the development as unprecedented, assuring the new members that they will enjoy same rights the existing party members enjoy without discrimination.
“We’re not surprised with the development due to unfulfilled promises of the present administration in the state. Doors of our party are wide open just as our umbrella is big enough to house every citizen of the state”, he said, adding that the PDP is determined to better their future.
Corroborating the decampees claim of non performance by the APC- led government in the state, Shittu said “if our party had won the last gubernatorial election in the state, by now workers in the state would have started enjoying the N30,000 new minimum wage in fulfilment of our agreement with the organised labour in the state. “
“We should take our future in our hands. I’ve directed party leaders across the state to open new register and issue memberships cads to new members so that registration at ward levels is done to ensure that nobody is left behind”, he said.