The former Majority Leader in the Edo State House of Assembly, Mr. Frank Okiye, has reportedly led 20 leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and hundreds of supporters to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
ThisDay reported that Okiye, while addressing the leaders of the APC, comprising the state governor, Adam Oshiomhole, expressed delight to reunite with his ‘ideological friend.’
“We have walked into the centre from various directions and I have found out that in life, the only thing that is permanent is change and that the wind of change has taken off. This wind of change has been epitomised and demonstrated in the aggressive approach to liberate our people. It is my pleasure to come out straight to identify with those things that have come from the Oshiohmole’s administration, that today, we are now freer than we were before,” he said.
The defector also stated that there was no need for trumpet blowing that change has taken place in the state whether anybody likes it or not, and pointed out that old order has become dilapidated and uninteresting, as ideas are no longer generated, but hinted that he was elated that the state has a governor who has fire in his bones.
“He came and believed that there is need for change and there are evidences to demonstrate that this man has a focus and he is aggressively pursuing it. It got to a point where people realised that this man has a goal and they are with him with all seriousness, and that is the train of change. I want to be part of that change before it gets to its destination. My leaders and I who are here have resolved to make our little contribution to this process of change. History will not pardon us if on the road to the destination of the Nigerian project, our names reflect somewhere else,” he said.
Speaking also at the occasion, Oshiomhole, who received the defectors, remarked that the addition of Okiye to the APC family will further strengthen the party.
The governor assured that the free political environment being enjoyed in the state will continue to give room to the progressive-minded individuals to team up with the party, adding that he hopes and pray that when the political environment is liberalised, people will join parties that reflect their values, and not because there is no alternatives.
“When people have alternatives, people of the same ideas will flock together on the same political platform. I want to appreciate you for recognising that the worth of a politician is not only in his eloquence but also in his capacity to connect, to relate and work with your leaders and there is no better proof of that than the fact that today, you are here not just by yourself but with your own leaders from your area in the state. When people ask me what I consider to be my most important contribution to the development of the state, I am quick to say it is the impact we have made in our political environment in the state that we are used by God to reorder our environment such that the people cannot be enslaved. So I am happy that by working together with others, we have liberalised the politics of the state,” Oshiomhole said.
The governor also promised the people of Esan North-east Local Government Area of the state that his administration would continue to do more in its bid to deliver the dividend of democracy to the people.
Meanwhile, it is been speculated that the membership of the PDP in the state has continued to deplete.
It would be recalled that on December 12, Oshiomhole accused the PDP of failing to facilitate major infrastructural developments in power, education health and other sectors in Nigeria.
In the same manner, former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, while commissioning a new 60-bed Specialist Hospital, built in Ewohinmi, Esan South East Local Government area of the state by Oshiomhole’s administration also advised the people of Edo State to use their votes to sack incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.
Meanwhile, a civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has dragged the APC, and PDP, to court for failing to disclose their sources of spending on their respective electoral campaigns and other operations linked to the February 2015 general elections.