The Peoples Democratic Party has said the ruling All Progressives Congress is looking for big names in its revalidation exercise to stay relevant.
Speaking with SaharaReporters on Wednesday, PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the APC has failed in its revalidation and registration exercise hence its strategy of re-registering people who had left the PDP long ago.
The APC on January 25 commenced its membership registration, revalidation and upgrade exercise nationwide as part of its efforts to strengthen the party in the country.
Some known PDP bigwigs have made the headlines recently after they dumped the party for the APC to join the membership exercise.
But reacting to the development, the PDP chieftain said many of such people had left the party before now.
He cited the instance of two-term governor of Ogun State and the campaign manager for Atiku Abubakar, PDP’s presidential candidate in the last general elections, Gbenga Daniel.
According to him, Daniel left the party long ago and simply defected from one APC faction to another.
He said, “Otunba Gbenga Daniel, immediately after the 2019 election, gave a public notice that he was leaving the party and that he was leaving politics completely. In March 2020, about a year ago, Gbenga Daniel in a public appearance declared that his people had come to ask him to leave for the APC one year ago and that he had no choice but to obey his people and he had since then been working with the governor of Ogun State so where is the news coming from that he just left the PDP?
“If there is any decamping regarding Otunba Gbenga Daniel, that means he decamped from one APC faction to another. Even in the message he gave out some days ago, he said he had been with the governor of Ogun State which means he had left the PDP since last year, so it was nothing new but what Nigerians must understand is that because of the failure of revalidation and registration exercise being conducted by the APC, they are looking for big names from the PDP, they cannot find and that’s why they are picking remarkable people who left the party long ago as having left now.”
The PDP chieftain also debunked the news that a former deputy governor of Osun State, Iyiola Omisore, defected from the PDP to the APC.
He said Iyiola Omisore left the party a long time ago, “As a matter of fact, he contested election in Osun State on the platform of the Social Democratic Party, is SDP not different from PDP? Why are people now saying he just left the PDP, which PDP?”
Ologbondiyan alleged that the APC was jealous of the PDP, and wants to divide the party but has been unable to.
“They have some sort of attraction for the PDP, they want to divide the party and it is becoming very difficult for them to achieve. That’s why if someone left the PDP ten years ago, they repackage him as someone who just joined, what’s the meaning of that?”
According to him, the PDP remains strong and viable in the midst of oppositions. He stated that the APC rather has failed in ‘governance, as a party and in their strides to register members’.
“Our party (PDP) remains strong and very viable. Which sinking ship? There are no issues in PDP and there is no sinking ship as far as the PDP is concerned. Of recent, we had two governorship elections in the country, in Edo and in Ondo states, PDP won in Edo while APC won in Ondo, can a sinking political party be able to win a governorship election? Raw balderdash.
“APC has failed woefully, they failed as a political party, they have failed in governance and in their strive to register members, they are just speaking balderdash.”
The Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, had defected from the PDP to APC last November, claiming that politics of bitterness and anger drove him out of the party.
Umahi was elected governor twice after also serving two terms as deputy governor under the PDP. He also served as the state’s party chairman from 2009 to 2011.
On January 31, a former member of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Obinna Okenwa, also defected from the PDP to the APC.
Okenwa, who represented Enugu South Urban in the state assembly from 2015 to 2019 on the platform of the PDP, declared for the APC with over 500 of his supporters, including his father, Emma Okenwa, a former deputy chairman of the PDP in the state.