APC in overwhelming gale of defection in Benue State
Less than two weeks after a large chunk of its members which was led by the National Commandant of the Nigeria Peace Corps, Amb. Dickson Ako, left the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Benue State, another major setback has befallen the party as over 2,000 of its members in Otukpo Local Government Area have bid farewell to the party and declared for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The colourful event, which took place at Otukpo-Icho, home of the state Deputy Governor, Engr Benson Abounu, on Saturday, 15th December, 2018, had the deputy governor and other top party and government officials in attendance.
The defectors, who cut across the 13 wards of the Local Government Area were led by tested grassroots politicians, among them are Hon. Jonah Enokela, the Otukpo Local Government Area, APC Youth Leader, Hon. Udeh Ijachi, former Otukpo Local Government Council Chairman, Hon. Peter Obe, Otukpo legislative leader and Councillor, Otobi ward, Onyilokwu Acha, youth leader, Ewulo ward, Hon. Onyattah Odeh – Supervisory Councillor, Hon. John Uloko, Councillor, Ugboju-Icho ward, Hon. Abel Ikpe, House of Representatives aspirant, and Nigeria first ever Miss Nigeria, Mrs Alache Akla.
One after the other, leaders of the 20 different APC groups that called it quit with the APC, said they decided to join their leader, the deputy governor in PDP, which they said offer better prospects for the development of Benue State. They point to his foray in politics, which was described to have been characterized by unusual straightforwardness and passion for community development as reasons for their decision to stick with him. They stated that after he left the APC, they no longer found anything to hold them back in the party.
The deputy governor, who announced the construction of a classroom block at the Okete Community Secondary School, called on the people to work hard and mobilise support for the election of all the PDP candidates, beginning with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Saturday, February 16th 2019.
Engr Abounu who stated that he has never participated in politics without attracting developmental projects to his people told the cheering crowd that the candidates being paraded by the APC have no record of achievements or programmes for the people.
He said, “any vote for the APC is a wasted effort as both Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Governor Samuel Ortom shall win their elections, adding that the PDP will win clearly in Benue South Senatorial district and other parts of the state”.
Earlier, the Otukpo PDP chairman, Abel Otobi, and the State women leader, Abeje Egwa, who first received the new members, welcomed them and assured them of equal treatment in the party. They called on them to work with the same vigour that they worked while in the APC so as to ensure total and comprehensive victory for the PDP.
In their separate goodwill messages, Chief George Alii, Hon. Salamatu Idi, Dr. Adakole Elijah, and Rev. Joseph Ogezi, all commended the decision of the defectors to leave the sinking APC and pitch their tent with the PDP, describing it as the wisest thing to do. They called on all members of the PDP to work closely together to ensure that the APC is rooted out in 2019 elections.
Among dignitaries at the event were Benue State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hajia Salamatu Idi, Rev. Joseph Ogezi, Special Adviser to the Governor on Information, and several other top PDP loyalists like the state women leader, Abeje Egwa, Otukpo Local Government Council Chairman, Chief George Alii and his deputy, Inalegwu Adakonye, Otukpo PDP chairman, Abel Otobi, former Head of the state Civil Service, Engr. George Edeh, former chairman, Ado local government council, Chief Otse Otokpa, and many others.