Despite the recent Court judgment that ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to include the logo of the Social Democratic Party, SDP on the ballot for the November 16 Governorship election in Kogi, top –ranking executives, members and supporters of the SDP in Kogi State have moved to the ruling All Progressives Congress .
While declaring their unalloyed support for the APC governorship candidate His Excellency Yahaya Bello, the deputy woman leader of SDP Haijia Ejigbo Ramat Ladidi said their decision to defect to APC was born out of the leadership disposition of Governor Yahaya Bello in developing the state through youths and women empowerment, creation of enabling environment for businesses to boom, infrastructural development as well as various state government reforms that have repositioning the state.
Hajia Ejigbo maintained that they have see the passion and love the present state government under the leadership of His Excellency Yahaya Bello, saying that the difference is clear, hence, the need to collapse into APC was Paramount.
She assured the governor of their unflinching support before, during and after the governorship election, noting that more than ninety percent of SDP have dumped the party for APC.
In his comment, the SDP state youth leader Mr Oseni Saidu explained that they have seen light in the APC and the need to work for the ruling party in kogi state remain sacrosanct while emphasizing that their defection to APC in their thousand signified victory for the APC governorship candidate and his running mate.
He noted SDP was no longer a political party but a registered business organization where few members of the party deceived unsuspected individuals to collect money and embark on hatchet jobs for major opposition party in the state.
He said there was no wisdom in supporting a candidate who can’t secure ten percent of the total votes cast, urged other few members of the SDP to queue behind APC in order to enable them benefit from the laudable gains of the New Direction government of kogi state.
The state treasurer of the SDP Mrs Rashida Attah said she is overwhelmed with the way APC government was making impact in the lives of the people of the state; hence, she is motivated to decamp to APC.
She further pointed out that, their members who were defecting today cut across the twenty one LGA of the state and expressed confidence in the victory of APC in this month election.
The SDP State Publicity Secretary of SDP, Hon Bahawudeen said the party in Kogi State no longer function as a political party but a business venture for few individuals within the party.
Responding, the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello who was represented by the state deputy governor, Chief Edward Onoja praised them for taking the right step in contributing to the development of kogi state, assured them of equal opportunity with the old members of the party.
The deputy governor admonished them to remain steadfast in their quest to work with APC, stressing that victory has been achieved already, looking at the mammoth crowd that joining the ruling party in the state.
Chief Edward Onoja told the newly defected members from SDP to APC to intensify efforts in ensuring that their decision will yield positive results, pointing out that the leadership of the present government rewards hard work.
The secretary to the state government, Dr. Folashade Ayoade Arike thanked the former SDP members for their timely decision to join the ruling party at this critical moment, saying they will be part of the history of the APC victory in this month gubernatorial election in kogi state.
Leaders of the SDP present at the meeting were;
Hon Bahawudeen (SDP State Publicity Secretary).
Ramatu Ladidi Jebo, State Assistant Women Leader
Husseini Saidu, Youth Leader
Rashidat Attah, State treasurer of the party
Idowu Omole, Zonal Women Leader
Hon Manhood A. Lamidi (SDP Zonal Chairman & Leader, Kogi Central).
Hon. Mustapha Aliyu (SDP Okene LG Party Chairman).
Mrs. Memunat Ishaq (SDP Okene Woman Leader).
Mr. Jibril Abdul Aziz (SDP Ajaokuta Chairman of all ward chairmen) , their executives,and other members.