It is gradually becoming very difficult to see how the PDP will be able to field a governorship candidate in the November 2024 elections with the rate at which members are leaving their party in their droves as the APC continues to wax stronger.
Political analysts may call it resignation when a bigwig resigns from the PDP, but when he proceeds to formally join another political party like the ruling APC and is welcomed into the fold by the leadership of the new party together with his followers, that amounts to a defection in contemporary political vocabulary.
The Ondo State PDP has suffered heavy and perhaps irrecoverable blows in the last 12 months across the entire state. Notable amongst the defections include Bode Obanla who led hundreds of defectors from PDP to APC in the four LGAs of Akokoland. Similarly, in Idanre LGA, the State Chairman, Ade Adetimehin received from PDP, former Senator Ayo Akinyelure (Allover), Prof. Jones Jejelola, Engr Akinseye (FIAARK) amongst others into the APC family; and Akure was not spared as Barrister Olumuyiwa Adu led thousands of supporters from PDP to APC. Prior to his resignation and defection, Barrister Adu was a House of Representatives aspirant for PDP in the last bye-election in Akure North/South federal constituency.
The continued incursion into the rank and file of the opposition in Akure which warehoused their governorship candidates in 2016 and 2020 is deliberate and it appears the power has clearly shifted to the ruling party APC with Senator Adeniyi Adegbomire and Hon. Abiodun Adesida firmly installed in the National Assembly representing Ondo Central senatorial district and Akure North/South federal constituencies respectively in the Senate and House of Representatives.
The latest prize capture of the APC in Ondo State is Hon Afolabi Akinbowale who was received by the Leader of the APC in the state, His Excellency Lucky Aiyedatiwa, by the APC State Chairman, Ade Adetimehin earlier today. This is a particularly significant blow for the opposition party as their flag-bearer in the last two governorship elections of 2016 and 2020, Mr Eyitayo Jegede SAN, hails from the most populous Akure South Local Government in Ondo State from which Mr Afolabi Akinbowale hails.
But it must be said that this defection dealt yet another heavy blow to the dwindling fortunes of the opposition party ahead of party primaries scheduled to hold in Ondo State by April 2024. In spite of frantic attempts to prevent Hon Akinbowale’s defection with his supporters, by powerful PDP Chieftains pulling strings in Abuja, the move was celebrated by defecting loyal supporters and APC party faithful earlier today in Akure.
In a resolute declaration, the former Chairman of Akure South Local Government, Hon Afolabi Akinbowale, assured members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State of his unwavering dedication to support the party towards triumph in the upcoming governorship election. Promising to also join in securing victory at every level, Hon. Akinbowale pledged to deliver resounding success in Akure from Idanre garage to Gbogi (Ward 8).
Some notable influential personalities from South Akure LGA, who defected from the People Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC, include Hon Rotimi Oluwadare; Hon Gbadebo; Olawale Jerom; Hon Opanta among others. “The All Progressives Congress in Ondo State is a progressive front with the much needed democratic values to consolidate on the gains of democracy in Ondo State”, was echoed by the State Chairman as he welcomed the new members.
The event was graced by distinguished personalities, including Senator Adeniyi Adegbonmire represented by Hon Akinloye Bolarinde, Engr. Kola Olusegun and his team, Ondo Central Senatorial Chairman Hon Festus Oladapo Aregbesola, APC Deputy State Chairman, Hon Atili, State Organising Secretary, Hon Charles Fagbohunka, Hon Fadairo Oluwafemi, Akure South APC Chairman, Hon. Fesobi Johnson, Hon Ogunleye Yusuf Saka, Hon Oladimeji Olawale were also in attendance, reflecting the collaborative spirit within the APC ranks.
30th January 2024