Five hundred members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lokoja Local Government Area of Kogi State.
The defectors, who said they took the decision to show solidarity with Governor Yahaya Bello, were received by Mr. Muhammed Danasabe Muhammed, the local government administrator, at Anguan Power, Lokoja.
Muhammed, who represented the governor, said the defectors had made the right choice by joining “the progressives.”
He assured them that the party would ensure fairness, equity and justice for its members at all times, irrespective of when they joined the party.
Muhammed said: “Our party is open to all, even members of other parties. You have come at the right time. In APC, we do not discriminate. Rather, we give due recognition to all members, irrespective of how long they have been members or their social standing.”
He said that the Governor Bello administration would not disappoint members by formulating and executing policies and programmes that would impact positively on the socio-economic well-being of the people.
Muhammed urged party members to remain resolute, and not engage in activities that will bring the name of the party into disrepute.
He challenged the new members to ensure that more people joined the party, stressing that the administration would not stifle the opposition, “as competition becomes sweeter when there are more opponents.”
The Executive Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Comrade Sulaiman Abdullahi Ndalayi, who was instrumental to the defection, said the party was large enough to accommodate people from other parties.
He assured the defectors that they would be mainstreamed rather than being discriminated against.
Ndalayi hailed them for coming on board and applauded their desire to build the state together with the governor.
The leader of the defectors, Alhassan Gimba, said they joined the progressives following the landmark achievements of Governor Bello.
He attested to the governor’s sincerity of purpose, promising that they would support him to move the state forward.
Notable members from the council who attended the event included the member representing Lokoja 1 Constituency, Isah Umar, former House of Assembly member Sulaiman Babadoko, Chairman APC Stakeholders Forum Alhaji Bala Salisu, APC Women Leader and others.