More than 5,000 members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) publicly switched to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara state over the weekend, putting the state’s 2023 elections at risk.
Ilorin West and Asa local government areas of the state are the ones most severely impacted by the defections.
The defectors also crossed Ajikobi, Ubandawaki, and Ogidi wards.
Among others in the Ilorin West local government area are Adewole and Badari.
The defectors also originated from five Laduba ward settlements, including Sapati, Abayawo, Budo-Ago, and Ago-Oja, which are all located in the state’s Asa local government area.
The defectors at Baboko Ward, led by Mr. Toyin Abdul, Mr. Olohuntoyin Rahmeen, Engineer Yinka Yusuf, and the Igbo community in Baboko, claimed that they left the APC because of the state’s allegedly subpar performance under the current administration and the inability of the APC-led government to effectively lead the state’s citizens.
They added that their decision to leave the APC was made in order to support the PDP’s leaders in the state, particularly Dr. Bukola Saraki, the former Senate President, in taking back control of the state from the APC’s administration’s hawks.
Alhaji Mashood Yakub, the Baboko Ward PDP Chairman, welcomed the decampees and encouraged them to work for the advancement of PDP and the nation as a whole.
Additionally, in the Laduba ward, one of the youth group’s leaders, Mr. Mathew Adachi, who helped other APC members defect to the PDP, reaffirmed that they were active APC members who worked to advance the party in 2019.
Adachi lamented that, “the current administration in Kwara State has failed and betrayed the trust of the people”, pointing out that, “APC is a discriminating party which has nothing to offer for the electorate”.
The Seriki Zuru villages in Laduba ward, represented by Alhaji Garuba Umar, who led his people to the event, also spoke. They expressed their dissatisfaction with the current state and federal governments, calling them as an uneducated and evil group of people.
He explained that the current administration has done nothing for the Zuru communities since it took power three years ago.
The Zuru traditional chief in Afon praised the former Senate President’s leadership and PDP for introducing them to the true supporters of the voters and promised that they would strive for the party’s success at both the State and Federal levels.
Later, leaders like Alhaji Jimoh Adesina, the DG Mandate Office, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, and Alhaji Musa Abdullahi among others welcomed the decampees into the PDP.