Many associates and aides of Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, are in the process of defecting from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
They are aggrieved by the rejection of the nomination of Amosun’s anointed governorship candidate, Mr. Adekunle Akinlade and a few others by the national leadership of the party.
It was gathered that such Amosun loyalists have already cut deals with other political parties, including the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) and the Action Democratic Party (ADP), ahead of their defection from the APC.
It was also gathered that a serving commissioner in Amosun’s government co-ordinated discussions with the DPP while one of the three vice chairmen of the APC in the state handled the deal with the ADP.
Sources said the first move by the Amosun camp to leave the APC was made as soon as the APC national secretariat refused to accept the result of the primaries that produced Akinlade as governorship candidate.
The move has the full backing of the governor although he himself has vowed to stay on in the APC.
One of the governor’s allies involved in the deal said: “It is a move serious politicians should expect.
“We know we are the popular ones across the state. APC cannot win in Ogun State without Amosun and his people.
“But we can go it alone if APC refuses to recognize our worth. We saw the treachery going on and we thought of pre-empting the situation. What you are seeing playing out didn’t just happen. We saw the need and we acted.”
The group was locked in a strategic meeting at press time to determine which of the two platforms -DPP and ADP- is best placed to help Akinlade in realizing his governorship ambition.
Another source in the group said the affected associates, aides and supporters of the governor will announce their defection from the APC in a matter of days.
The source said: “They will also announce their new political party. Many of them will emerge as substitute candidates of the chosen party upon their official defection during the week.
“All is set for Amosun’s people to call the bluff of the APC and its national leaders.”
On Amosun’s continued membership of the APC, the source said: “That is one of the issues that delayed the move till now.
“While some of our leaders see the need for Amosun to remain in the APC for strategic reasons, some others are of the opinion that it is better and more effective for him to lead his camp out of the APC.
“Before now, there was the fear that even Amosun might be denied the Ogun Central Senatorial ticket. But he got it and two of our people also got the other senatorial tickets.
“There is need to decide whether they should hold on to the tickets or drop them and pick the tickets of the party to be adopted. All these will be ironed out at the meeting today. But one thing is sure; our group will not stay in the APC and work for Dapo Abiodun.
“Already, we have our people as candidates of both the DPP and ADP across the state. The deals with the party will be ready to substitute the names they submitted to INEC with the names of our people once we join their party. While DPP submitted the names of people who gave them to stand in for our real candidates across the state, the ADP assured us that once we choose their party, our candidates will be forwarded as substitutes.”
Some prominent aides and associates of Amosun have already been named as candidates of the DPP in the list of National Assembly candidates released last week by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye; a Senior Special Assistant to Amosun, Alhaji Bola Adeyemi and the Governor’s Special Adviser on Energy, Chief Taiwo Fagbemi, are named as DPP’s senatorial candidates for Ogun East, Central and West district respectively.
Also, former APC chairman for Egbado South Local Government, Odebiyi Safiu Abiodun, is DPP’s House of Representatives candidate for Egbado South /Ipokia Federal constituency, a younger brother
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