The Ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is set to be hit with a gale of defections as members of the party in the south-west who are loyal to Bola Tinubu are reportedly holding high-profile meeting to fine-tune strategies for the emergence of an alternative political platform to fight for power come 2019.
Those involved in this political push include governors and lawmakers, especially senators from the south-west, who are said to have intensified consultations to ensure that they are not used and dumped in the next dispensation.
Confirming this development, Senator Adesoji Akanbi, representing Oyo South, said Nigerians would soon see the outcome of the new political alliances and realignments, Punch writes.
Akanbi disclosed that some of those, who were part of the formation of the APC, and who had become uncomfortable with the turnout of events after the party attained power, might be considering their options.
“You know that ambition can drive people and a lot of people, when it comes to amalgamation like that of the APC, some people may feel cheated and may not be happy with the outcome of the whole thing. It is normal,” he said.
“There is no way you can form a new party in a room. Nigerians should not be too eager to see the outcome of such (secret and closed-door) meetings because they are still coming out to the public to canvass for support. Let us all wait and see.”
In a veiled reference to Tinubu, he said, “Personally, someone like me is a committed member of the APC and I still have my leader.
“Politics is about the grass roots. You have to know what your people want before you can decide on what to do. I am from the South-West and we have a way of doing our thing. We still have a leader.”
Akanbi, who declined to name names, insisted that the people of the South-West had their way of responding to political challenges when they occurred, adding that the decision of the leader, most often than not, was in line with the popular wish of the people of the geo-political zone.
He said, “I have not mentioned any name but whatever it is, it is going to be a collective decision. Personally, I am an advocate of regional integration. When I say regional, I am particular about the South-West, where I come from.”
Seemingly confirming the discordant tunes in the party, APC National Vice-Chairman (South-South), Hilliard Eta, told Punch on the telephone that the party was fully aware of subterranean moves by some individuals, whom he did not name, to cause disaffection within the party.
“You know, in political parties, the concept that operates is the concept of free entry and free exit.
“We are aware of the subterranean moves being made by those who want to defect. They started by trying to divide the party to pave the way for them to defect but we remain strong.
“Those who want to defect, we wish them well. I even think it is better for them to leave us to build our party instead of them remaining and undermining us.
“If they want to form a new party, good luck to them; we will meet in the field in 2019. But for those of us, who were in the trenches to ensure that the APC was born, will remain in it to build and strengthen it to give Nigerians the purposeful leadership they deserve.”
In a related development, All Progressives Congress party National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has tipped the party to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party in the November 26 gubernatorial election in Ondo State.
Oyegun, governorship campaign of the APC on Thursday at the Democracy Park in Akure, said it was very important to the Federal Government and that is the reason why the party must take over the state from the PDP in 2017.
He said that the candidate of the APC for the forthcoming poll, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), was valuable to the national leadership of the party.
He said, “To oust the party in power, it requires hard work and commitment. Let us go out and work hard to win this election. We are here to let you know how important Ondo State is to the Federal Government and also to let you know how valuable our candidate, Akeredolu, is to us. Let us work hard and by the grace of God, we will win the election.”
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