Fear of prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the 2023 general election are largely responsible for the defection of some governors, senators and former political office holders from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Daily Independent has gathered.
Despite the discontent against the ruling party, there has been influx of serving and former political office holders from the PDP into the party, the latest being Governor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers State.
Other PDP bigwigs who have defected from the PDP to APC in recent times are Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State; Gbenga Daniel, former Ogun State governor; Yakubu Dogara, former Speaker of the House of Representatives; Senator Elisha Abbo; Senator Hamma Misau and businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim.
Speaking with Daily Independent, a credible source in the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), who does not want his name in print, said having done their investigation on the reasons for the defections, they realised that three major factors were responsible for the action of the defectors.
The first, according to him, is current political office holders who are afraid of being victimised by EFCC after leaving office; the second set are former political office holders who want their cases with the anti-graft agency dropped and the third are those who still want to remain politically relevant after the 2023 elections.
He said many of the defectors always blame internal crisis in the PDP for their actions but it has been discovered that while it is true that the PDP is not what it should be, it wasn’t really the cause for their jumping ship.
“The situation is worrisome and we have been doing our investigation on what could be responsible for some of our people to be leaving for APC, especially at a time there is a growing discontent by Nigerians and their wish that PDP should return.
“What we find out is that some cabals in APC are going about recruiting our men. The APC cabal going round to recruit PDP governors and senators are Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa, Mai Mala Buni of Yobe and they had Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice as their resort.
“They always make our members believe that the APC will still work its way to power in 2023 and it is better you join them now so you won’t be rigged out. However, if you stay out and remain in PDP, the results will be written against you,” the source said.
He added, “Also, for those who have ongoing corruption cases and those in office who have been indicted one way or the other, they use Malami to promise protection from EFCC. That is what they promised to Cross Rivers State governor, Ben Ayade.
“That did not come to us as a surprise, because Adams Oshiomhole, their former national chairman publicly said their sins would be forgiven the moment they joined APC.”
Reacting, Chief Olabode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, said on Thursday that politicians defecting from the party to the ruling APC are making mistakes which they would later regret.
Speaking with Daily Independent, Bode George who admitted that all is not well within the PDP, however, said the solution is to join hands with other like minds to find a solution rather than joining APC that has more challenges.
According to George, who is the Atona Odua of Yorubaland, leaving PDP for APC is akin to jumping from frying pan to fire.
“I really don’t understand why PDP leaders will contemplate joining APC at this moment. You don’t bite the fingers that fed you. To me, anyone leaving PDP for APC now is just jumping from frying pan to fire. If your house is leaking, you stay there and repair it.
“You don’t abandon a house you laboured to build and move to another house to become a tenant just because yours is leaking. A rolling stone gathers no moss; a platform that gave you recognition and honoured you, why would you just abandon it like that? You think those you are going to meet in APC will fold their hands and watch you become their leader?
“Look at a former Delta governor who joined APC, is he not back to PDP? Even the Ebonyi governor that joined them, what has he achieved since then?
“There is no doubt in my mind that we have problems in this party but we must stay and sort the problems out because it is not a private company to anybody,” he stated.