The rift within the Ogun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday took another turn as aggrieved members formally announced their defection to the Alliance for Democracy (AD) ahead of 2019 elections, The City Pulse News Politics gathered.
The defectors, who were mainly loyalists of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content, Senator Solomon Adeola alleged politics of exclusion and undemocratic practices in their former party.
Adeola, who currently represents Lagos West in the National Assembly, reportedly opted out of the governorship race in Ogun State on the platform of APC.
His supporters announced their decision at a press conference held at the state secretariat of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta.
But there was a mild drama earlier when a detachment of armed policemen stormed the venue before the commencement of activities allegedly in a bid to stop the defection.
The operatives numbering about 40, was led by the Area Commander, Abeokuta, who arrived about 7:26a.m. in four patrol vehicles.
However, the policemen later left the secretariat after the state Police Commissioner, Ahmed Iliyasu and Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi were said to have intervened and reached an understanding with the NUJ Chairman, Comrade Wole Shokunbi.
Addressing reporters, the defectors under the aegis of De-Democrats said they were schemed out of the APC due to alleged undemocratic practices of Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
Their spokesman, Hon. Adekunle Adesina, who is the immediate past APC Senatorial Chairman in Ogun Central, said various attempts to get justice had not received favourable response from the national leadership of the party.
Adesina explained that their over 40,000 members who were spread across the 236 wards, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) supported Adeola’s ambition.
He said: “It is important to state at this point in time that Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, popularly known as Yayi, has decided to excuse himself from the governorship race in order to avoid engineering any crisis in the Ogun State APC.
“However, we members of De-Democrats are determined to continue our agitation for internal party democracy and majority rule in the politics of Ogun State. One of such undemocratic practices of the governor is the unilateral removal of seven party chairmen who were duly elected at the 2014 party congress.
“Despite all the assurances given by the national leadership of the party, nothing has been done to intervene. In furtherance of our engagement with the national leadership of the party, an open letter was written to the National Reconciliation Committee of the APC headed by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“Having exhausted all avenues to find redress within the APC without any success, members of the APC De-Democrats have decided to take their destiny in their hands.
“Consequently, we unanimously resolved to exit the APC to a more democratic political platform which was one of the foundations of the current democratic organization being enjoyed in the country.
“The Alliance for Democracy is a foundation player in the current Republic and has also been at the helm of affairs in Ogun State and other South West states with developmental achievements and unblemished records.”