The fold of the All Progressives Congress (APC) swelled at the weekend as hundreds of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwarts joined the ruling party at Ondo West local government area.
The defectors were received by the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the governor on Research and Documentation, Kunle Adebayo.
While introducing the leaders of the decampees, Akinyosade Akinlolu (a.k.a Ojukwu) hailed the courage, confidence and trust the decampees reposed in the leadership of Adebayo in Ondo West APC and the determination to work for the re-election of governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
He assured them of equal opportunities in the party.
Also speaking, the APC youth leader in the area Akinuli Femi allayed the fear of youths among the decampees, stressing that there will be equal treatment in the youth Wing of the party.
A former PDP Ward 12 chairman, Sarafadeen Adewale, a former PDP Chairman in the local government, Kayode Adefisoye, and former PDP Ward Six Chairman, Ibrahim Oloruntele, who spoke on behalf of the decampees said it was the sterling leadership qualities of Adebayo that encouraged them to join the APC.
According to him, another factor is the unprecedented achievements of Governor Akeredolu especially in the area of infrastructural development of the state.
He noted that Akeredolu’s sense of integrity, focus and determination to elevate the state to an enviable level has shown him as a true leader.
They pledged to work with progressives party to deliver their respective political units and wards for the party handsomely in this year’s gubernatorial election.
The decampees also pledged their absolute loyalty and commitment to the party.
In his response, Adebayo who is also the Chairman, OSRC/Orange Fm appreciated the courage of the decampees to fully join APC without any financial inducement.
According to him, there are two parties in Ondo state, the APC and the PDP, and so the options are clear for the people to make.
He said “the option is that of prosperity and development versus oppression and poverty, between hope and exploitation, between development and exploitation”.
Adebayo charged the decampees to justify their movement into APC with serious mobilisation for the re-election of the governor in their individual political units and wards in this year’s gubernatorial election.
He also used the occasion to highlight some of the achievements of Akeredolu in the areas of health, road constructions, renovations of primary schools and provision of potable water across the state.
He assured them of the eagerness of the Party leadership to officially receive them to the party at the official declaration ceremony which will be very soon.
Adebayo said” some have said we are fighting ourselves inside the party here. It is a lie. We are one great family. Hear me, all the leaders are united and strong. We will bring joy and development to our people. We will win for Aketi”.
“You have seen the light, you must go home and clean the house. Bring every member of PDP in your unit to this Aketi family. Tell them we care for Ondo state. We care for your children, your wives and families. Tell them to come all on the day of declaration. Show the way.”
He rẹ-assured them of equal opportunities and legitimate patronage in the party.