The Nation reports that no fewer than 700 members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ovia North East local government area of Edo state on Wednesday, August 3. Friday Ighodaro, an APC leader in Ovia, led the defectors who were from various communities in Ovia North East. Other leaders of the APC who defected with their supporters were Stephen Osagie, Ifeanyi Okolie, Iredia Samuel and Peter Igbinedion. They announced their defection at a campaign rally of the PDP which held at Okada, hometown of Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin Kingdom.
According to Ighodaro, they defected because the APC “is a one-party”. Also speaking, Osagie said the defectors from Ulakpa community decided to quit the APC because the road leading to their community was graded by the lawmaker representing Ovia federal constituency, Barr. Omosede Igbinedion.
Addressing the people, Omosede said her father, Chief Igbinedion turned Okada village into a town and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the governorship candidate of the PDP, will turn it into a city. She urged the people to show the ‘short man’ (referring to Governor Adams Oshiomhole) that he failed them through the ballot papers.
Son his part, the state chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, accused Governor Oshiomhole of spending N90m monthly to maintain water fountain at the Oba Ovoranmwen Square in Benin City at a time residence lacked water to drink. At the campaign rally to show support for Pastor Ize-Iyamu, were seven PDP members in the House of Representatives.
They were minority leader, Leo Ogor, Hon Uzoma Abumka, Hon Ladi Adekoto, Hon Sambo Garuba, Hon Oghene Ego and Hon Tunji Soyinka. Pastor Ize-Iyamu said Oshiomhole was behaving as if he was pursuing a third term agenda.
“I feel sad when I hear Oshiomhole insult people like Chief Igbinedion when it was Chief Igbinedion that helped him to power. He should have told the people what he did in the past eight years he resorted to insulting elders,” he said.
Ize-Iyamu gave the assurance that he will partner with businesses to develop the state and improve the lives of the people. The Edo state governorship election is scheduled for September 10. As the election draws closer, politicians have been moving from one party to the other. The campaign director of PDP governorship candidate, Mallam Balarable Saidu, quit the party for the ruling APC.
Also, a former gubernatorial candidate with the APC and cousin to the APC governorship candidate, Don-Pedro Obaseki, decided to defect to the PDP. An elderstatesman from the Obaseki family of Benin, Chief Osayuki Obaseki, asked Don-Pedro to apologise to the family for campaigning for Pastor Ize-Iyamu of the PDP instead of his own cousin, Obaseki who is the governorship candiadte of the APC.