25,000 Ambode’s Supporters Abandon APC, Endorse Agbaje For Governor

About 25,000 members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) defected to the Accord party in Lagos today, Thursday, and immediately adopted the Governorship Candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Jimi Agbaje.

The defectors, who came from all the 20 local governments, at the well-attended ceremony that took place at the Lagos Airport Hotel, cheered as the candidate of Accord, Engineer Joseph Ola Beckley, said he was standing down for Agbaje in the governorship election.

Witnesses to the carnival-like ceremony included: Agbaje, his Running Mate, Mrs. Haleemat Oluwayemisi Busari, recently defected former Lagos State Commissioner for Power, Mr. Wale Oluwo, former Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, Alhaji Rahman Owokoniran and PDP Lagos Chairman, Dr. Adegbola Dominic.

The defectors, who described themselves as “Aggrieved Members of the APC” were led by a chieftain of the party, Mr. Sunday Ajayi.

Ajayi said they decided to dump APC for Accord due to the widespread impunity perpetrated by the leadership of APC.

Addressing a huge crowd of faithful, which included chieftains of the PDP and the Accord Party, Ajayi stated, “We, the leaders of the Aggrieved APC, have decided to bid bye-bye to the APC over the reign of impunity being carried out by the party in the state.”

Ajayi accused the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, of committing gross impunity against the membership through imposition of candidates on the APC, saying, the era of one man rule in the state has gone.

“Until now, we were members of the APC; but today we have decided to dump the party with our teeming members, numbering about 25,000 from across all the local government areas of Lagos State,” he said, adding, “The reason for the defection of our members is not farfetched. We are all living witnesses to how the APC conducted its primaries to pick its candidate. You will agree with me that the process was far from being free and fair to all members of the party.”

He cited the treatment that his former party meted out to incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in his bid to secure a second term of office, saying, never in the history of politics in the state had a Governor been so shabbily treated.

He noted: “You can imagine the treatment that they gave our amiable Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode. What happened to the Governor is rather unprecedented. It has never happened before that a sitting Governor would be prevented from getting a second term.

“When the people asked, the excuse they gave was that although the man worked, he didn’t do well as a party man. The question now is: Was Ambode not a party man before they picked him as the party’s candidate in 2015? We are tired of this high level of impunity in the APC and we have opted to leave the party for them.

“Today, we are pitching our tent with Accord Party with our supporters and candidates for all elected offices with the exception of the governorship because we are endorsing PDP’s Jimi Agbaje,” he said.

On his part, a member of the Accord Party’s Board of Trustees, Rev. Isaac Adeniyi, while welcoming the defectors into the party said the event was an epoch-making one in the history of political development of the state.

According to Adeniyi, with the resolve of the teeming members of the APC to join the ranks of the state, the rescue of Lagos State from the vice-like grips of one man had been secured, saying, all stakeholders in both the party and the PDP must work to ensure that the objective was achieved.

Commenting on the development, a visibly elated Agbaje said the task of rescuing the state had moved into higher gear with the defectors’ action.

Agbaje said: “I am happy to be here today to be part of this epoch-making event. The task of rescuing the state is not about me but about the need to protect our collective commonwealth from the hands of one man.

“Looking at the number of people here today, only a myopic politician would discountenance the worth and calibre of people in this hall. Unfortunately, rather than find a way to fend and cater for the needs of their supporters, they have been more preoccupied with destroying our posters and billboards.”

He urged all Lagosians to spread the gospel of freedom and change that have been spreading like wild fire in state.

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