The preferred candidate of the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, for the 2019 governorship election in the state, Abiodun Akinlade, has defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to the Allied People’s Movement, APM.
The defection of Akinlade, who represents Egbado south and Ipokia federal constituency of Ogun, was announced at the House of Representatives on Thursday.
This was as the Majority Leader of the Ogun State House of Assembly and three other members of the House decamped to the AMP.
The lawmakers announced their defection during a plenary in separate letters read by the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Suraj Adekunbi, in Abeokuta. The defectors are: the Majority Leader, Idowu Olowofuja (Abeokuta South 11); Mr Adeyinka Mafe (Sagamu 1); the Chief Whip, Ganiyu Oyedeji (Ifo 11); and Tunde Sanusi (Obafemi Owode).
In their resignation letters, the lawmakers said that injustice by APC during its primaries was part of their reasons for defecting.
They also said that their decision was influenced by supporters after due consultations with their constituents.
Oyedeji said in his letter that in spite of his defection, he would still support President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election and would continue to support Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State.
In his response, the Speaker of the Ogun State Assembly wished them well in their new party.
Akinlade had lost the governorship ticket of the APC to Dapo Abiodun despite all efforts put in place by Amosun to make him secure it.
Following the controversies which trailed the primaries, Amosun had said he was under pressure to leave the ruling party.
However, he pledged loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari, promising to work for his re-election.
He later lampooned the leadership of the ruling party and vowed to hand over to Akinlade in 2019.
Apparently as a result of the crisis in the party, Amosun was the only south-west governor absent when Isiaka Oyetola was sworn in as governor of Osun state on Tuesday.
Akinlade’s defection comes two days after Rochas Okorocha, governor of Imo state, who lost out in his bid to secure APC governorship ticket for Uche Nwosu, his preferred candidate, said he would not stop Nwosu from joining another party.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has given parties up till December 1 to substitute candidates for governorship and state houses of assembly elections.
Meanwhile, three other members of the House of Representatives moved to other parties on Thursday.
They are: Rabiu Kaugama from Jigawa who moved from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Salisu Koko from Kebbi who also joined APC but from SDP and Mohammed Ajanah from Kogi who defected from APC to PDP.