Ahead of the 2015 general election, no fewer than 2,000 members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State at the weekend defected from the party to the Peoples Democractic Party (PDP).
THISDAY checks revealed that the affected party members are believed to be from Ilorin West Local Government Area of the state.
But in swift reaction, the state Publicity Secretary of APC, Alhaji Buhari Suleiman, denied that the members were from the APC, alleging that it was a political ploy by the PDP to create a false impression.
According to him, "Nobody left our party to the best of my knowledge because what we have which is a reality is that members are trooping to APC on daily basis because the PDP is too fragmented in Kwara to attract anyone."
He said: “PDP is a party without control unlike APC that is taking care of its members. The so-called decamp was a political arrangement by the PDP to create false impression that did not exist and they have failed. APC is Kwara and Kwara is APC."
Speaking with journalists at the weekend in Ilorin during the defection ceremony, the Private Secretary to Senator Gbemisola Saraki, Hon. Yusuf Umar, said: "We are receiving the decampees from APC. They said they are fed up with the APC and they are coming to PDP. That is the purpose of our being here today.
"We are pleased with their decamping and that shows that PDP is growing in Kwara State. To God be the glory. PDP as at today in Kwara State has so many good things for Kwara. We will give them free education; we will give them qualitative education, not just free education. Then we will provide water that they have been unable to provide for the past 13 years.
Then we will provide employment because we are not happy the way our youths are roaming about the street without having something to do. We are going to see that all our youths are gainfully employed."
The Vice-Chairman (Central) of the PDP, Alhaji Mohammed Mustapha Salman, expressed delight with the development.
He said: "I learnt some people were willing to defect to PDP, I couldn’t believe it. I came here today to see if what they are saying is real. If it is just one person defecting from the APC to the PDP, it is a factor. And that shows that PDP is taking over government in 2015 by the grace of God."
One of the decampees, Alhaji Ajadi Abdulfatah, from Ajikobi ward said: "We are decamping to PDP from APC. We were in APC before and when we joined APC, we discovered there are a lot of discrepancies, injustice and there is no fair play. That is why we decided to join PDP on the prompting of our leader, Senator
Gbemisola Saraki. Those of us defecting are spread across the 11 wards of Ilorin West Local Government."
They therefore pledged their unalloyed support for the state executive council led by Hon. Iyiola Oyedepo.