Rumpus in Ondo PDP as Osunyikanmi, others defect to APC

Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state

Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state

THE ranks of members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State further depleted yesterday with the announced resignation of Dr. Pius Olakunle Osunyikanmi, former Commissioner for Education and current Director-General of the Technical Aids Corps (TAC) and Senator Ayo Akinyelure, who represented the central senatorial district in the last Senate, from the party.

The two politicians were the main pillars of the old Labour Party (LP) in their respective local councils. Osunyikanmi is from Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo while Akinyelure is from Idanre.

Incumbent governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, used the LP platform to defeat the PDP government of late Dr. Olusegun Agagu in the 2007 governorship elections, before moving, with the duo and others, to the PDP just before last year’s general elections.

The defection of Osunyikanmi who, for many years, had been a very close aide of Mimiko since the latter’s entry into politics, is expected to cause a storm in the state’s political waters as the youthful politician, who also served as Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Foreign Affairs, is said to be leaving the PDP with a sizeable number of members of the governor’s inner caucus.

Expressing concern at the negative effects of the politicians’ exit from the party, a PDP chieftain who pleaded anonymity, said, “I don’t know how we are going to cope with the expected mass defection that is most likely to follow this development.

“Even some of our prominent leaders are planning to leave the party because of this. It is unfortunate that mismanagement of success had made us to lose face in the public arena but we are going to control the fallouts of this especially as it concerns Osunyikanmi, one of our strongest leaders.”

In a joint press statement issued by the duo yesterday, they announced that they are moving into the All Progressive Congress (APC) to fulfill the political aspirations of the people of the state who have shown preference for the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The statement titled “Our Journey of Change Begins” and signed by the two grassroots politicians stated; “We are most delighted to announce our formal declaration for the All Progressives Congress, APC in Ondo State. This declaration, which has ignited the fire of passionate endorsements across the state, followed our historic disengagement from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

“Our decision was taken after several months of wide consultations with our esteemed leaders, constructive constituents, fervent followers and very distinguished admirers from the length and breadth of Ondo State.

“The mood in Ondo State, as clearly expressed in the last general election, shows that the people truly want a change. In spite of the fact that we have a PDP government in the state, our people voted massively for President Mohammadu Buhari of the APC. That situation has not changed. In fact, the calls for total change at all levels of governance in the state are getting more stringent due to the failure of the PDP-led state government to deliver democracy dividends to the people.

“As progressive politicians with track records in people’s welfare and empowerment, we cannot but identify with a political platform that is poised to change Nigeria for good. Therefore, our decision to align with other genuine progressives in the APC is hinged on the need to engender good governance in our state, put the state in the mainstream of national politics and foster regional integration which has long been frustrated by the current selfish and egocentric leadership in Ondo State.”

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