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2019: Three Days To Deadline For Submission Of Candidates’ Names, Defections Hit APC

The post-primary crises in the All Progressives Congress worsened on Thursday as more defections hit the party.

The defections occurred three days to the deadline given to political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission for substitution of candidates.

It was gathered that the party, which ended its governorship primaries on October 5, had been striving to solve some of the crises before the December 2 deadline for the substitution of governorship and houses of assembly candidates.

The plan of the party, it was learnt, was to accommodate the interests of members, who were aggrieved by its primaries.

But development on Thursday indicated that the efforts of the APC were not yielding fruits as more members defected and the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, said the crisis in the state was irredeemable.

States affected by latest defections are Ogun, Kogi, Kebbi and Imo.

In the House of Representatives, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, read defection letters of three APC lawmakers, including Messrs Abdulkabir Akinlade (Ogun State), Mohammed Ajalah (Kogi State), and Salisu Koko (Kebbi State).

Ajalah defected from the APC to the PDP, while Koko moved from the APC to the SDP. Akinlade, who is the governorship candidate of the APC faction in Ogun State led by Governor Ibikunle Amosun, defected from the APC to the Allied People’s Movement.

The National Working Committee of the APC had affirmed Mr Dapo Abiodun, as the authentic governorship candidate of the APC in Ogun State, an action Amosun kicked against.

Four members of the House of Representatives had last week dumped the APC for various parties. They included Mukaila Kazzim representing Abeokuta North/Obafemi-Owode/Odeda in Ogun State, who is believed to be loyal to Amosun.

All the lawmakers blamed their defections on the APC’s handling of its primaries and selection of candidates for the 2019 general elections.

Besides Akinlade, some of the loyalists of the governor that dumped the APC on Thursday for the APM included the Majority Leader of the state House of Assembly, Yinka Mafe (Sagamu Constituency 1); the Chief Whip, Idowu Olowofuja (Abeokuta South 2); Tunde Sanusi (Obafemi-Owode); and Ganiyu Oyedeji (Ifo 2 Constituency).

The Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Suraj Adekunbi (APC-Yewa North 1), read the defection letters of the members during plenary in Abeokuta on Thursday.

The lawmakers in their separate letters attributed their defections to the injustice during the primary elections of the APC. They accused the APC NWC of injustice, saying there was a need to join a new platform.

The lawmakers noted that they took the decision after due consultation with their constituents and their supporters.

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