The Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State may be heading for extinction with many members set to dump it to join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
APC chairman in Lagos, Chief Henry Ajomale on Wednesday said the party was stepping up arrangements to welcome former Minister of State, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro into its fold in a matter of weeks. And that he is not coming alone.
Ajomale said Obanikoro would defect with other bigwigs of the state PDP.
He said Wednesday’s defection of PDP bigwig, Prince Lukman Ajose was the precursor for the expected flood gate of defections from the PDP to the APC in the coming days.
Ajomale said: “We welcome Prince Ajose to the APC. His defection is a plus for us.
“But Ajose is not the only one is joining us. Some of the bigwigs in the PDP including Obanikoro will be joining us soon.
“I don’t want to give you a particular date but all I can tell you all is set “,he said.
He said the coming of Ajose into the party as well as other PDP members would add value to the party and enhance its electoral fortune.
He said their coming was particularly gladdening as the party was preparing for the council polls and making early preparations for the general election in 2019.
Asked if the mass movement of PDP members into the party would not weaken the opposition and make the state a one party state, Ajomale answered in the negative.
He said since the PDP was not the only party in the opposition, it would be wrong to say the decimation of the party through defection would make the state a one party state.
The party chairman also said the party was stepping preparations to secure popular electoral victory for its candidates for the July 22 council poll.
The party chairman assured that the party would ensure a level playing for all the aspirants of the party.
He described as false allegations in some quarters that the party was imposing candidates in some council areas.
Ajomale said those making the allegations were blackmailers who were not sure of themselves and their ability to win at the party primary.
“It is pure blackmail. There is nothing like that. Everybody will be allowed a level playing ground”he said.
Ajose, who joined the party at the headquarters in Ikeja was a two-time chairman of the Lagos Island Local Council and was a member of the Alliance for Democracy, which metamorphosed into Action Congress of Nigeria, before joining the alliance that led to the formation of APC.
Ajomale, together with some elders in the party handed the party’s flag to Ajose and some of his supporters at the ceremony.
Ajose said his joining the APC was like home-coming for him.
He said most of the principal actors in the APC were his political associates and that he was glad he was returning to their fold.
Ajose said he left the ACN for the PDP about 10 years ago because of some disagreements with Chief Bola Tinubu, a national leader of APC, but that he had now regretted his exit .
He added that all his political expectations were not met in the PDP and that he sees the APC as the only progressive party in Nigeria, hence his defection.
“I left the then ACN because of some issues, but I soon realised that what happened then was not as bad as what I experienced in the PDP.
“That was why I thought it is better to come back.
“I have been in the PDP and was in the ACN which has now transformed into APC, I can see the better party.
“Again, when I look around this gathering, most of the people I see here are people we started together even before the formation of AD.
“I am so glad I am reuniting with them with my teeming supporters today. This is where I belong,’’ he said.
He thanked Tinubu for facilitating his return to the party despite his altercations with him when he was in the PDP.
Ajose expressed surprise that Tinubu could still accommodate him in APC in spite of his verbal attacks on him when he was in the PDP.
He said his defection to the APC would sound a death knell for the PDP in Lagos Island as he was a force to reckon with in the area.
Ajose promised that he would do all he could to improve the electoral chances of his new party in elections.
A chieftain of the APC, Mr Tajudeen Olusi commended Ajose for retracing his steps back to the APC.
Olusi, however, counselled politicians to always be consistent in their political career, saying they would be doing a disservice to themselves by defecting frequently from one party to another