Governors elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Friday stormed Lagos State for the defection of members of the “Lagos4Lagos Movement”, a splinter group with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), into PDP.
Also present at the official declaration of defection of Dr Abdul-Azeez Adediran-led aggrieved APC group was the National Chairman of the PDP, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, and former Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
Speaking on behalf of PDP governors’ forum, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia described Adeniran as strategic and a bridge builder, who would add value to the party in the state.
Ikpeazu noted that the forum’s Chairman and Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, could not make the event because he was bereaved.
“On behalf of my brother governors, we officially join the Lagos PDP family, to welcome new strategic members of our party.
“You are very important and strategic. PDP is the only democratic party in Nigeria,” he said.
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Ikpeazu urged members of the PDP family in the state to give Adediran maximum support and cooperation for the defector to contribute his quota to the growth of the party.
He urged Adediran and his followers to also see existing PDP members as part of their family.
According to him, this is vital for the party to join hands together to rescue Nigeria and Lagos State.
In his address, Ayu, who welcomed the defectors into the party, said that PDP loves Lagos.
“My people in Lagos, PDP loves you, I love you. Lagos for Lagos, Nigeria for Nigerians, PDP for Nigeria.
“Today, I know you are not happy because you gave your life away to people who deceived you about change.
“Are you enjoying the change? No more slavery in Lagos. We thank you for coming over to PDP.”
He urged all the defectors and existing party members to mobilise others so as to celebrate a PDP governor in the state in 2023.
In his remarks, Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers said that the defection should make PDP family to be one, saying “the more the merrier”.
Earlier in his address, Mr Julius Akinsola, the Caretaker Chairman, Lagos PDP, said that PDP belongs to the masses, especially the new defectors and millions within and outside the nation.
“It is the party of equal opportunities and it welcomes all Nigerians,” Akinsola said while welcoming Adediran and all his followers.
Akinsola, who noted that PDP works on rules and regulations, urged the new members to read the party constitution from beginning to the end.
He, however, handed over Adediran to Mr Aremu Hassan, Chairman of PDP in Ojo Local Government Area, where the leader came from and unveiled him to members of the party in the state.
In his remarks, Adediran said that the group defected from the APC because the ruling party was not ready for contest election but dwells in imposition of candidates.
“We were in APC but they were not ready for contest. We had parallel congresses because APC was not ready for contest. Today, we have been able to move to where we can put our reliable strength to test.
“Today, we have joined a party where we are ready to submit ourselves to a very fair contest. Today, we have declared for PDP and be rest assured we are going to join the existing members of the party to work for the party and not for ourselves.
“Please, we are here to add value. We are here to be part of the PDP family and together, we can take Lagos,” Adediran said.
According to him, “if Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State could win election without being a former lawmaker or supported by the government at the centre, I can win the governorship election in 2023.”
Other governors at the event included Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Ex-Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, Ex-Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra, Amb. Taofeek Arapaja, the PDP Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Bode George, former PDP Deputy National Chairman, Publisher Ovation, Dele Momodu, Alhaji Rahman Owokoniran, the General Secretary of PDP, South-West, among other chieftains.
The event featured training on e-registration of PDP new members, cultural displays, drumming and dancing, speeches by various leaders, among other activities.