Osagie Otabor, Bénin
A former Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon Bright Omokhodion, former Deputy Speaker, Festus Ebea, former state chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, Mr. Tony Omoaghe, on Thursday joined Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC)
Others were Mrs. Tawa Idubor, Chief Blessing Agbomhere, Etinosa Ogbeiwi, Emmanuel Momoh and several others.
They had announced their mass resignation from the People’s Democratic Party through a voice vote after motion was moved and seconded by Hon Festus Ebea (Edo Central) Emmanuel Momoh (Edo North) and Tawa Idubor (Edo South).
Giving reasons for leaving the PDP, Hon Omokhodion said they had an intense and exhaustive deliberation on the political wrangling and demise of internal democracy in the Edo state chapter of PDP as well as consulted widely across the three senatorial districts of the state.
Hon Omokhodion noted that the present leadership of the Edo PDP lost its political directions and all attempts to suggest ways of redirecting the fortunes of the party was resisted by the leadership of the party.
Omokhodion said the action of suspending top leaders of the party on spurious allegations were undemocratic and has reduced the morale of members to its lowest.
“That as a result of leadership failure, Edo State PDP no longer command the electoral sentiment of the Edo people.
“We, therefore in our numbers collectively resolve that Edo state PDP has failed in its objective mission to the people and we have this day resigned our membership of the PDP and have resolved to join the All Progressives Congress.”
Addressing party supporters, Pastor Ize-Iyamu said the resignation was not to give room for speculation or give impression that they were retiring from politics.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu cautioned them using against ‘throwing stones at the house we once inhabited, a house we have many friends and many associates.
He said, “PDP and any other political party for that matter are not our enemies. Please refrain from any attack that suggests that we are leaving PDP in anger or in bitterness. What is important is our primary objective in politics, why we chose to be in politics.
“Many people have different reasons for being in politics but for most of us in this group we see politics as an opportunity to represent our people, we see it as an opportunity to assess government and bring the dividends, the benefits of government to our people and we cannot be fulfilled if we play politics without being above to achieve these goals.
“People might call us names, but many understand why we have to do what we did. We have done what we have done because we believe that we just assist to bring development to our people. We must assist to bring solutions. It is not enough to just criticise and criticise. We want to be in the forefront of providing solutions.
“We want to assure our brothers there that we are not coming to a strange place. APC is home to many of us just like PDP was home. We are going into the APC with good intentions. We are not going there to join factions. We are going to join APC. We are going there to help strengthen the party and we intend to give our full allegiance to those in charge, those in authority. We will not undermine the powers that be. We will not join in any fight or name calling but we have come with the best of intentions.”