The political fortune of Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2016 governorship election suffered setback on Sunday when the former deputy governor of the state and the Edo South leader of the party, Chief Lucky Imasuen, former deputy governorship candidate of the party in 2012, Hon. Johnson Abulagba, deputy vice chairman of the party in Edo South, Chief Christopher Adesotu, dumped the PDP for the All Progressives Congress (APC) with their supporters.
The PDP had in a statement by its publicity secretary, Chris Nehikhare announced the suspension of the duo from the party alleging anti-party activities during the last election.
But Imasuen who led the defectors at a well attended rally at the traditional Urhokpota Ground, described the claim of being suspended as nonsensical, asserting that, “We are tired of the PDP and the manipulations of the leadership and we decided to leave and they are dead in Edo South and across the state”.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole who received the defectors, described the occasion as the final funeral rite of the PDP in Edo State and assured the defectors that the party will integrate them and ensure that they enjoy all benefits accruing to old members.
He said, “I have had some informal conversation with the party leaders to reassure them that I am very excited of the opportunity of working hand in hand with our brothers and sisters who we know in their hearts they are progressives. There are people who defect and it does not disturb anybody but the moving of these powerful politicians from PDP to APC means PDP is down and finished.
“I want to assure you that we will reintegrate you. In the APC we do not discriminate into our structures and we will ensure that you get what is due to you. Let me assure you that we are not welcoming you by lips but with all our hearts. We are going to work together to ensure continuous good governance in this state.
“Under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, now that you have joined us the broom has become more stronger and more rugged to sweep away all other remnants so that the benefit of change will accrue to all our people throughout the state and to all of you who are members.”