No fewer than 1,000 members of Accord Party in Lagos on Tuesday dumped the party to join the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the new entrants, led by Omoye Ikhero, a leader of Accord Party in Alimosho, formally defected to the APC at an elaborate ceremony at its secretariat in Ikeja.
Also, a former governorship aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the state and former president of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Chief Olawale Cole, officially joined the APC.
NAN also reports that all the defectors were received by the state Chairman of the party, Tunde Balogun, with other party executive members, including Dr Wale Ahmed (Secretary).
Others present were Mr Sunny Ajose (Deputy-Chairman) and Mr Joe Igbokwe (Publicity Secretary)
Mr Balogun said the party and its members were glad to receive the defectors into its fold.
He said that their coming to the party meant they had decided to join the progressives train.
“I congratulate you all for joining the party of progressives. I congratulate you for abandoning the darkness for light. This is the party of development.
“This is the party that has brought great development to the state. We welcome you on board; we want you to feel at home as you are now part of the Progressives family.
“We will integrate you fully; in fact we will register you as members of our party immediately. We welcome you once again.
‘’We will give you a sense of belonging so that together we can build a better Lagos,” he said.
Mr Balogun said the party had no opposition in the state, as the people of the state believed in the party ideology and trusted it to record greater strides in the state.
He also noted that the main opposition party, the PDP, had been massively depleted and would soon be obliterated from the political map of the state.
The chairman urged the residents to continue to believe in the party and vote its governorship candidate, Jide Sanwo-olu, in 2019 for the continued progress of the state.
In her remarks, Mr Ikhero said she and her supporters were glad to join the APC, as it was the party to beat.
She said she was moved by the developmental strides of the party in the state as well as the leadership style of Mr Balogun, promising to contribute her quota to move the party forward.
“I and my supporters and other members of our former party, Accord, are happy to join the party.
“Before, we were outside of the fence but now we are glad we are within the fence.
“We are glad to be here and we will do our best to move the party forward,” she said.
Mr Ikhero, a former Accord Chairmanship candidate in Alimosho, said she and her supporters left their former party because they realised it could not guarantee their political goals.
She promised to mobilise support for Sanwo-olu’s emergence in 2019.
Also, Cole said he decided to join the party because of its tremendous achievements so far in the state, especially in area of infrastructure.
He said he was not joining the party for pecuniary benefits, as he was a successful player in the private sector, and had served the state as commissioner of finance and that of Works at various times.
Cole said that he also defected to the party because of the goodwill and integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari, and promised to do his best to add value to the party.