Over 14,000 members and supporters of a former national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ali Modu Sheriff, have defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
This is even as APC announced that it would commence reconciliation visits to the state chapters of the party in the South-South geopolitical zones on Sunday, towards strengthening the party for victory in the 2019 general elections in the region.
The defecting Sheriff’s loyalists led by a former National Vice Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, said they were “suffocated out of the party through deliberate act of impunity which led to the defeat of the party in 2015.”
The over 14,000 former PDP members were received by top members of the APC led by National Vice Chairman of APC, Hilliard Eta; Delta State leader of the party, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor; Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu; and the state chairman of the party, Prophet Jones Erue, among others in Agbor.
Speaking during the ceremony, PDP former National Vice Chairman (South-South), Ojougboh, said since the Supreme Court judgment which ousted the Sheriff faction, the Ahmed Markafi national leadership had refused to reach out to them, hence their resolve to leave.
Ojougboh said, “We asked the national body to open up the party after the unfortunate court judgment, the next thing we heard was that they were going to grant us amnesty, as if we are criminals.
“When Raymond Dokpesi was nominated as member of the committee for the non-elective convention, his nomination was rejected because they said they spent money on the court judgment.
“As if that was not enough, during the Anambra State governorship primary election, Jerry Gana was made chairman of a three-man committee to midwife a transparent election, but governors Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State rejected it and came up with another committee that went to Anambra and handed everything to Peter Obi.
“Back here in Delta, we asked the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, to remove impunity, but what we continue to see here is a … family government.
“We now said it is time to look for people of like minds, people of progressive ideology to meet with, because I know most of you have ambitions to pursue.
“If we do not make a decision to belong to the progressives, most of you will miss out.”