Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Political activities ahead of the governorship election scheduled for September 22 in Osun State took a new twist, on Monday, with the mass defection of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) executive members to the Action Democratic Party (ADP).
Those who defected from the APC included 580 of the 780 local excos, 5,620 out of 8,632 ward exco as well as nine members of the State Working Committee.
The number of the defectors totalled 6,209.
With their action, the defectors have pitched their tent with the former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Moshood Adeoti, the flagbearer of the ADP.
Adeoti had dumped the APC after withdrawing from the party’s recent primary election in which the direct system was adopted in the poll.
Former Deputy Vice Chairman of the APC in the state, Azeez Adesiji, who led the defectors, told the crowd of supporters at the ADP Secretariat , in Osogbo, where he announced the move, that undemocratic practices in the APC informed their decision.
Of the 6,218 defectors, nine were members of the State Working Committee of the party (the APC).
They included, Azeez Adesiji (Deputy Chairman), Tajudeen Agbeti (Ex-officio), Prince Ademola Bamidele (Auditor), Rasheed Bakare (General Secretary), Akinola Morakinyo (PRO), Wole Adunola (Ex-officio), Dr Idayat Bakare (Assistant Welfare Secretary), Mrs. Ogundare Afolabi (Assistant PRO) and Alhaji Sikiru Karim (Assistant Treasurer).
With the defection of the nine, the APC is now left with only five members of the State Working Committee of the former 16 as two of them had defected to PDP before now.
In the letter of resignation jointly signed and addressed to the Chairman of the APC in the state, Gboyega Famodun, Adesiji said that they took the decision after due consultations with their mentors, close political associates and lovers of the party.
While addressing the ADP supporters, on Monday, Adesiji said: “I wish to make it known to you all about our defection into this new credible alternative party because of impunity and undemocratic practices witnessed in our former party, the All Progressives Congress, Osun State which is becoming of an acclaimed progressive party.
“As long as we love our former party where we have contributed immensely in the past, we have no choice but to follow the wish of our people,” he added.
Adesiji also cited the following reasons for the defection: impunity of the highest order, unconcerned attitude of the decision makers within the ruling party and the government in Osun State towards the governed, abandonment of the party members at the wards, local governments and state levels, the state being run as an output of another state, the abandonment of the principles of fairness and uneven development by APC cabal.
Adesiji added: ” With the little aforementioned, myself and others here present and many more of our followers at home have chosen the path of honour by resigning our membership from the All Progressives Congress and informing the good people of Nigeria of our decision to move en masse into the vibrant and dynamic Action Democrat Party.”
Adesiji expressed optimism that the ADP would emerge victorious with its candidate, Adeoti during the election to wrest the power from the ruling APC in September.