Three days to the governorship and House of Assembly elections, hundreds of loyalists and supporters of the Ogun State gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ladi Adebutu, have dumped the party and joined the camp of Governor Dapo Abiodun.
The loyalists based in Ogun Central senatorial district under the auspice of the Reformers Group was led by the agent of PDP presidential candidate at the last Saturday’s presidential election collation in the State, Hon. Johnson Fatoki.
Also on Wednesday, the leadership of Omo Ilu Foundation of the late Senator Buruji Kashamu in Ogun East and Central, collapsed their structures to declared their support for the second term bid of Governor Abiodun, ahead of the Saturday poll.
Some of the chieftains of the PDP who dumped Adebutu include Segun Seriki, Johnson Fatoki, Otunba Femi Osifade, Alhaji Saula Adegunwa, Ralph Olaosebikan and Mr Tola Mebude.
Others are the former Financial Secretary of PDP in Ogun State, Bola Odumosun, Chairman of the Elders Council, Alhaji T.A. Olatokunbo, Alhaja Fatimo Sonibare, former chairman of Ijebu East Local Government, Michael Agbolaade and former House of Assembly member, Akeem Salami.
Speaking at Iperu-Remo country home of Governor Abiodun, the leader of the Ogun Central team and former member, Ogun State House of Assembly, Johnson Fatoki, said the group made up of members of different political parties went through a lot of pressure and overtures from various political parties, but decided to pitch their tent with Governor Abiodun.
Fatoki described the group as “a complete team,” saying it is made up of experienced politicians from Ogun Central who are leaders in their respective communities and are not pushed overs in the political terrain.
“This team is a complete team. Our members cut across different parties who had held at least one political post currently in the past.
” We are not here to demand for anything but here to work for the governor. The party will win even after Governor Abiodun’s next four years. We know that whether we join the APC or not, the party will still win, so it is better we join now” Fatoki stated.
He noted that the inclusive policy and the developmental strides of the incumbent administration across the state, attracted the group to the APC, emphasizing that they were not coming into the party for personal gains but for the benefits of their people.
Speaking on the ongoing construction of the Agro-cargo airport, Fatoki recalled that during his time in the Ogun State House of Assembly, budget provision was made for work to commence at the airport.
Also speaking, Oladeinde Ayinde, said the personality and the policy of ensuring equitable distribution of amenities to all parts of the state, attracted him to the current government, while Mrs.Nurat Yusuf, assured that they would all work for the success of the governor at the poll.
Responding, Governor Abiodun described the leader of the group, Fatoki, as a forthright, reliable, consistent and committed individual who is not a push over in both the Ogun State and national politics, having served the PDP in various capacities.
The governor explained that the inclusive policy of his administration was to open up the political space and make it easy for many people to join the APC.
Abiodun lauded the groups for taking the right step in the right direction, adding that though it was tough, the decision would enable them to be in the mainstream and play an active part in serving their people.
“My being in government is to impact on the lives of the people. Your decision to join us will make you active players in decision making because most of the projects we executed are from the people.
We are responsible and responsive government and we only do those things that our people want us to do. You have not given me any condition to join us and so we will ensure that you do not regret joining us”, the governor said.
He added that “by joining the APC, you have become part and parcel of the winning team as you will not be regarded as new members”.
Welcoming the group to the APC, the State Chairman of the party, Chief Yemi Sanusi, said that there is no group in the party as it is an indivisible and one, calling on them to demonstrate their loyalty by registering at their various wards and work for the victory of the party in the forthcoming election.