The crisis in the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC again came to light yesterday after the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole led National Working Committee, NWC reversed the National and State House of Assembly primaries conducted by the State Working Committee, SWC.
By Alemma Aliu
BENIN CITY — THE All Progressives Congress (APC) has in the last few days been plagued with defections and threats of defection the latest being philanthropist, Ken Imansuagbon who last Monday went back to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) citing the alleged failure of the APC to meet the aspirations of the people.
Before this was the rumoured plan by the House of Representatives principal officer, Pally Iriase to dump the APC. He has, however, come out to strongly deny the rumour.
Before the Imansuagbon defection, a former chairman of the now defunct War Against Indiscipline under the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole administration, David Olukoga defected citing abandonment of party leaders by the current administration of Mr. Godwin Obaseki. He is seen as one of the influential foot soldiers of the APC.
Mr. Charles Idahosa who served as political adviser to Comrade Oshiomhole had also made his departure from the party but had to be recalled by Oshiomhole.
The recent defection of Imansuagbon is giving concern to some leaders of the party as they fear more prominent members could leave.
Many others party stakeholders are also peeved for other reasons. In fact, it is the opinion of some that the recent developments in Lagos State that saw the party establishment fight the outgoing governor of the state, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to a standstill may only be a precursor of what would happen in Edo State.
Imansuagbon, popularly famed as the Rice Man built up a reputation among the party folks over the years but has been apparently sidelined like many other party stalwarts since the advent of the Obaseki regime.
Announcing his defection at the PDP party secretariat last Monday, where he was received by chieftains of the PDP, Imansuagbon popularly called the Rice man because of his yearly distribution of rice said he felt he “should join other good thinking Nigerians to fight and save our democracy from the hands of marauders, the country is sick and tired of the APC government. A government that has no conscience, a government that does not feel the pains and anguish of the poor masses, a government where innocent souls are being killed without a positive response from the government, a country where people could operate with so much impunity and recklessness yet those that have the mantle of leadership close their eyes to it.”
He said he was confident PDP would win the presidential election in 2019. “I tell you that the PDP has a very great chance of taking over Aso Rock. Nigerians have tested the APC government; they have seen that they have nothing to offer, so they are very much prepared to vote them out of office in 2019. You see the PDP membership card in my hands, and I use this card to give APC government both at Federal and state level a quit notice. Come 2020 in Edo State, PDP will regain her stolen mandate.”
On why he left the APC, he told journalists “Politics is all about interest; I went to APC thinking that they will be able to give the required change the people wanted. I joined them hoping that it is a party that can liberate the people from their sufferings, I joined them thinking that was a party that could provide the basics things of life for the people. But I have discovered that they do not have what it takes to transform a volatile and the most populous Black Country in the world. In 2015, I did say to former President Goodluck Jonathan that Nigerians will vote him out of office, they thought I was joking, but today all that is history. So today in Benin I’m repeating it that come 2019, Nigerians will vote out the APC government.”
Imansuagbon is said not to be defecting because he wants to contest for any political office. There are also indications that Imasuangbon defected to help drive the presidential aspiration of Governor Aminu Tambuwal who was his classmate in law school.
However, a leader of the APC in the state who does not want his name to be mentioned when asked whether the party was not worried about the spate of defection, said “Since no party leader will want to lose his members, you cannot also force those who want to leave from leaving. But I am aware the leadership of the party has been meeting with those who are feeling aggrieved, and we believe some of them will come back to us.”