Lokoja – All the three Zonal Chairmen of the Social Democratic Party ( SDP) in the three senatorial districts of Kogi State, on Thursday, in Lokoja defected from the party to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)
They defected along with all the party’s chairmen in the 21 local government areas of the state.
The defectors from the SDP made public their decision to join the APC when they stormed the Kogi State Government House in Lokoja, to pledge their loyalty to Governor Yahaya Bello and support for Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo, the candidate of the APC in the November 11 governorship election holding in the state
They said that they weighed their options and chose the continuous development of the state and well-being of indigenes over and above other considerations.
The Zonal Chairman of SDP in Kogi East Senatorial District, Suleiman Isah, who spoke on behalf of all defectors from district condemned the use of ethnicity in political campaigns by his former party, SDP.
He said ethnic campaign was detrimental to the state’s socio-cultural well-being, saying it was capable of undermining the peace currently being enjoyed in the state.
“We are happy that this is happening today. Even while we were in the opposition, we were aware that you did a lot for the state.
“The infrastructure projects are what anyone cannot deny, Your Excellency. We have all decided to join the APC to support the efforts at further developing the state.
“And we will give all the necessary support to ensure victory for the APC candidate in the governorship election,” Isah said.
He acknowledged Governor Yahaya Bello’s commendable accomplishments in the areas of health, education, road infrastructure, and agriculture, among others, over the past seven years.
The former SDP zonal chairman, assured the governor of the commitment of all the SDP chairmen to the Kogi Agenda through the APC candidate, Ododo Ahmed Usman.
Also speaking, the Acting Chairman of SDP in Kogi Central Senatorial District, Zubairu Ibrahim, commended the governor for infrastructure development in the state and specifically acknowledged significant efforts made by Bello at ensuring security of lives and property.
He said the people of Kogi State now enjoyed improved security and peace compared to what obtained in the past, stressing that well meaning Kogites would not sacrifice that on the altar of politics.
Governor Yahaya Bello, while receiving the defectors, commended what he called their courageous step, as well as their willingness to contribute to the advancement of the state.
He reiterated his strong commitment to maintaining an inclusive government that extends equal opportunities to both old and new members of the APC.
Bello further stressed that the timing of their movement from SDP to APC was significant, given his administration’s noteworthy achievements in Kogi State, which had earned the APC widespread support.
He emphasised the crucial significance of fostering unity among the diverse ethnic communities within the state.
The governor underscored the importance of collaborative, issue-based campaigns and noted that success in any election would depend on broad support.
He urged the people to reject divisive tactics in the interest of all.