The Labour Party (LP) in Kogi State on Friday suffered a setback as all its 21 local government area chairmen defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The chairmen defected to the ruling APC with scores of their supporters.
NAN reports that they were received by the state APC chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello, at the Lugard House, Lokoja.
The leader of the defectors, Mr Awe Kayode, said that they decided to collapse their structure into APC in order to support the party’s governorship candidate, Usman Ododo, in the forthcoming Nov. 11 governorship poll.
Kayode also said that their defection became imperative when they realised that LP was no longer viable in the state.
“Another reason for our defection is our conviction that the APC candidate, Usman Ododo, has shown that he is a unifier whose nationalist qualities are needed to consolidate on the achievements of Gov Yahaya Bello.
“I was in APC before I left to join the Labour Party. I am back today with more people and we are ready to add value. LP got more than 76,000 votes in the last presidential election; we still have the same people who worked to achieve that feat.
“The state belongs to all of us and we have decided to jettison ethnic or religious agenda to support the candidate of APC who promotes the Kogi Agenda.
“Indeed, the Labour Party structure in the state was a formidable one that delivered massive votes to the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, without inducement or support, but we want to do the same to APC and Ododo this time around,” he said.
Kayode added that their decision to collapse the LP structure into APC was to join forces with the progressives to actualise the Kogi Agenda which sought to further unite the people and ensure even development across board.
Similarly, the LP chairman for Bassa LGA, who doubles as the chairman of LP Chairmen Forum, Jimba Emmanuel, noted that a political party was just a platform to power.
He added that good governance was about individuals passionate about development and attracting dividends of democracy to the people.
He said that the governorship candidate of LP lacked the required quality, hence their decision to abandon “the sinking ship.”
According to him: “I and my colleagues here have agreed to mobilise all our structures across the 21 local government areas to deliver massive votes for the APC candidate come Nov. 11.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Wemi Jones, commended the leader of the “Obidient Movement” in Kogi, Awe Kayode, for his doggedness and mobilisation ability.
Jones said that the crowd seen was a testimony of the genuineness of their decision to join the progressives.
He urged the defectors to join forces in canvassing and mobilising for the victory of the APC governorship candidate to ensure sustainability and consolidation of the gains made by Yahaya Bello’s administration.
Receiving the defectors, the Kogi APC Chairman, Abdullahi Bello, said, “APC is a party that believes in development, equality and has a good reward system.”
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