Hundreds of supporters and top ranking members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau Central Senatorial District of Plateau State have defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC) to support the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Simon Lalong.
Former PDP chieftain Alh. Garba Abubakar Dade, who spoke at the APC mega rally in Mangu Local Government Area, alleged that voting PDP will thwart the zoning arrangement for the governorship elections in the state.
Dade, who led former chairmen, councilors and hundreds of PDP supporters to the APC, claimed that PDP governorship candidate Jeremiah Useni would spent two terms if elected into office and that will deny Plateau Central the opportunity to produce a governor in 2023.
According to him, based on happenings within the party, there was a plan by the PDP governorship candidate to renegade on the zoning principle, hence the determination and collective decision of some members to jettison PDP for APC whose candidate is running for a second term.
“Senator Jeremiah Useni, who had invited us to work with him in his governorship campaign, had declined to restrict himself to the one term in office if he eventually wins in the forthcoming elections. This did not go down well with some of the supporters and party members from Mangu LGA.
“The Central Zone is next in line to benefit from the zoning agreement in the state, and Mangu LGA being an interested party will not concede her chance by supporting Useni as he would further delay their chance of contesting the governorship by another four years.
“We would rather pitch camp with the incumbent Governor Simon Lalong of the APC who is seeking a second term and who is by the Constitution restricted to just two terms, from which he had already served one,” he said.
Other supporters who decamped to the APC at the mega rally were, Salisu Babuje, Abdullahi Rabo and Ibrahim A. Kyespo, who also ran in the 2018 Local Elections as the Deputy Chairman to the then PDP candidate Barr Ayuba Burki, who has since also decamped to the APC.
Apparently reacting to the allegation, the Chairman Media and Publicity Committee of PDP campaign organization, Mr Abraham Yiljap, said APC was rattled by the success of PDP, especially its recent campaign outing, adding that the party has witnessed defection of APC members into its fold.
“It is a mischief to say Senator Useini is scheming for eight years. The gubernatorial candidate has repeatedly stated that he was going in for just four years after which he will hand over to young ones. APC just wants to deceive the people of Mangu. I want to say that he is going in for just four years,” the PDP spokesman said.