Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has formally received hundreds of defectors from the All Progressives Congress (APC), African Democratic Congress (ADC), Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and Alliance for Democracy (AD), among others, to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
At the event held, on Thursday, at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan, Makinde urged both old and new members of the PDP to work in unity for the overall success of the party in the 2023 general elections.
He assured that the defectors would enjoy all the rights and privileges enjoyed by other members of the party.
The governor said since the people had worked and supported him for the 1.0 version (first term) they should get ready to see him do more for the 2.0, adding that no one would be left behind in the wave of development across the state.
Similarly, the State Party Chairman, Dayo Ogungbenro, asserted that the party believed in equity, assuring that the newly received members would not be marginalised in the fold.
Some of the notables figures among the defectors include a two-term Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, who led the defecting African Democratic Congress (ADC) members; Mr Bashir Ajibade, Mr Joseph Tegbe and Honourable Simeon Oyeleke, who led the defecting members of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Mr Wole Abisoye, the former Chairman of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in the state, who led the ZLP defectors; while Mr Akin Alamu and Mr Babatunde Oduyoye led the defectors from the Alliance for Democracy (AD).
Others are Mr Taiwo Otegbeye, formerly of the Providence Peoples Congress (PPC); former Chairman, Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim Wing), Sheik Taofeek Akewugbagold; Mr Seyi Opatoki of Integrity Foundation; Mr Segun Jenyo; Adamilare Akintola; Muideen Olakewu; Bashir Ajibade, Dayo Popoola and several others.
In her remarks, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, who mocked the announcement of her expulsion from the ADC, said, with those that had defected to the PDP, what was left in the Oyo ADC is carcass because the party no longer has people or structure, noting that several of the defectors left the ADC about a year ago.
She stated: “We are decampees yet we were suspended. Do you suspend a decampee? We left the ADC about a year ago. When we went to pay the governor a thank you visit, we all went, including those who stayed back. We don’t know why some of them turned back. We have 21 excos in ADC, and 14 of them are here at this PDP gathering. Some of them obtained forms to contest but said they are no more contesting.
“We know why we left the APC. Since the history of Oyo State, except the last election, has there ever been ADC on the ballot paper for Oyo State? No one ever contested on that platform; we are the first; and we lost. It shows that that is not where God wants. We left because we saw the many things that the governor is doing,” Sunmonu disclosed.
Among personalities present were the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Bayo Lawal; Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja and several other excos of the PDP at the national and zonal levels; Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin; elder Wole Oyelese; several other stalwarts of the PDP and other personalities.