Twenty three members of the Kwara state House of Assembly on Wenesday defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The defectors were led by Speaker of the House, Dr. Ali Ahmad.
Former chairman of Offa local government area of the state on the platform of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Prince Saheed Popoola did not quit APC.
Dr Ali announced the defectors decision at the floor of the house
The defection of the lawmakers came less than 24 hours after Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and Governor AbdulFattah Ahmed had announced their respective defection from the ruling party. Ali said the decision was permitted by Section 109 (1)(g) of the Constitution and that it was reached after wide consultations with their constituents who have become disillusioned within the APC.
In the 10-paragraph statement, Ali said the defection brought to him a sigh of relief, having been ‘terribly sad’ about the decision to dump the PDP in 2014. “Today I am the happiest leaving the APC for good; I wish I was never a member of the party”, Ali said.
He noted that since the APC came into power in 2015, keen watchers of political events in the country had concluded that it was not a party that could lead Nigeria out of the woods. “Unarguably, the intrigues and power play that birthed the long drawn legal battle with key members of the party over phantom allegations coupled with the arbitrary use of government institutions such as the police and anti-corruption agencies for harassment and intimidation of perceived opponents in power since APC assumed power has dealt a heavy blow to governance”, he said.
The Speaker said such act of illegality has turned Nigeria into an object of ridicule among the comity of nations, adding that “with the current unprecedented spate of disobedience to court rulings, the present administration at the national level has redefined government as government of the cabal by the cabal and for the cabal thereby throwing the rule of law, the bedrock of democracy, to the dogs”.
He noted that while his group in the APC had been treading the path of honour and spreading the olive branch and offering the necessary guidance since the crisis within the party started, and in spite of their display of humility ‘some players have refused to be placated and are therefore heel bent on continuing to fan the ember of discord and disunity in the party’ which was built by joint efforts of labour and resources.
He concluded: “Today, as I and other members of the Kwara state House of Assembly dump the APC for good, I heaved a sigh of relief. In 2014, I was terribly sad leaving the PDP reluctantly with 36 other members of the House of Representatives. Today, I am the happiest leaving the APC fort good. I wish I was never a member of the party.“