The National President of the Goodluck-for-Transformation and Edo State Women Coordinator of Goodluck Campaign Organisation, Chief Evelyn Igbafe; a three-time member of the House of Representatives and Senatorial aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo South Senatorial District, Hon Ehiogie West-Idahosa; and a former Commissioner in the old Bendel State and founding member of the PDP, Hon. Roland Ehigiamusoe, were part of the over 5,000 of members of the PDP who defected to the All Progressives Congress in Edo State on Wednesday.
Speaking at the decamping on Wednesday, Igbafe said she was merely on sabbatical before, but she is now fully back to the party where her heart truly belongs.
She said: “I am back here to my home. I had gone on sabbaticals, but I am now back home.”
She assured the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and other APC chieftains who received her, that many people are disenchanted with the PDP and that “many are on their way to the APC”.
To the former national leader and a founding member of the PDP, Hon. Roland Ehigiamusoe, PDP is a sinking ship, which is under the grip of a single man.
He said: “I have been a member of the PDP right from inception when it was formed on August 30, 1998. I have been there since and I have witnessed a lot of things.
“I am not surprised today that the PDP is sinking and sinking very fast because for quite a long time, it has been working for self-destruction. There are a lot of injustices in that party. That is why over two years now, I have been working behind the scene for the All Progressives Congress because of the great things that the Governor has been doing and has done for us.
“Many of you think that the greatest thing that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has done for us is tarring roads, building schools and infrastructure. Yes, that has been a revolution, very unique but the greatest thing he did for us was to free all of us from one man’s prison. We have all been in one man’s prison in Uromi since that 1998 and he came and in a wonderful way to free all of us.
“I have been a gubernatorial aspirant, I have participated in many activities in the party and I found that there was nothing we could do unless you are given the opportunity by one man and so when he came with the one man one vote, he freed all of us from the prison at Uromi so I want to say thank you our Comrade Governor.”
West-Idahosa said he joined the APC to propagate the message of Change.
According to him: “We went for a race, we lost not just the race, we lost a human being and we feel very pained that had we been here in APC, our safety would have been guaranteed.
“Many said to me, West, are you sure you can make it there? Are you sure that you are in the right place? Today, my position is clear. We are all supporters of change and for me, I believe in those values you represent, you want water, light, good schools, good roads and the best standard of living for our people. Everything you want for our people is to add value to life and as far as we are concerned, we are here to support you and to mobilize the people to join you in pursuing the mandate of 2015 and after that mandate, Change will come to the nation.”
Governor Oshiomhole, who received the defectors and over 5,000 of their members, said: “When, I see the number of people here, I wonder if there is anybody of note that is left under the umbrella that is now severely tattered. I want to join my chairman in expressing my joy at the opportunity of being able to receive you back to the house that I believe is traditionally yours.
“I have argued this at the beginning and I will like to repeat it that I am convinced as our democracy matures, there are two forces in most democracy – the conservative forces that is dedicated to preserve the privileges of the few and the progressive forces that want an egalitarian society, a country that offers hope and opportunity to all its citizens and the political environment in which people can realize their potentials even if they do not have god fathers.
“Today is not just the fact of the huge number in this hall but it is also about the quality of the brains that have now join us and in a world that is knowledge-driven, it is only the party that can parade the best brains that can drive the sustainable change that Nigeria is currently battling with in order to bail our people from its present political quagmire.
“I think the main issues are clear now to many of our people and I have had several platforms to canvass these issues these past few weeks. In this hall and outside, there are people who are not even members of any political party who cannot understand how and why 16 years of PDP federal government, Nigeria is still in the dark.
“The man who has a shop must close by 6pm. If he operates beyond 6pm, he must put on a generator, and buy petrol or diesel. For 16 years, PDP can’t give us light. But if they were to leave us in peace even in the dark, it will be bad enough but for them, that is not bad enough.
“Every day, people are protesting across Edo State against PDP-approved policies where people who are in the dark for months are asked to pay what they call fixed charge without fixed light because even from the poor, they must extort money.
“Nigeria has been reduced to a Banana Republic as if there is no government in the land. People have no one to complain to because these economic vultures that are feasting and sucking the blood of the poor have protection in Abuja.”