Saraki leads Kwara Governor, S-Africa High Commissioner to PDP

Dr. Bukola Saraki, President of the Senate, yesterday announced his decision to leave the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He left with the mainstream of his political family in Kwara State, including Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, the two other senators from the state, members of the House of Representatives, all but one of the members of the State House of Assembly. Resolutions to take this action were taken during a meeting of the political family in Saraki’s GRA, Ilorin residence yesterday. Also yesterday, the country’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Alhaji Ahmed Ibeto, has resigned his job ahead of his return to PDP, his former party. Alhaji Ibeto, who was Deputy Governor of Niger State during Dr. Mu’azu Aliyu’s administration, resigned his appointment and dumped PDP for APC, claiming he was denied the governorship slot to succeed his boss. News of Saraki’s defection first broke out on Twitter at 6.00 p.m. where Saraki announced his defection. “I wish to inform Nigerians that, after extensive consultations, I have decided to take my leave of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” the Senate President announced in his tweet. Subsequently, he issued a press statement in which he said he was forced out of the APC by fifth columnists who he said aborted last-minute reconciliation efforts which he said had been initiated by new party chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and some of the party’s governors. He, said he was going back to the PDP which he said had learnt from its loss of 2015 even as he said that the APC failed to usher the changes it promised.
A prominent member of Saraki’s political family who is also National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi was absent at the meeting in Ilorin. No reason was given for his absence. Abdullahi lost his job as minister of sports in the Goodluck Jonathan administration on account of his political loyalty to Saraki, following the latter’s defection in 2014 from the PDP to the APC. Also absent at the meeting were two members of the House of Representatives Ms. Funke Adedoyin and Tope Layonu, both from Kwara South.
News of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed’s defection was contained in a one-paragraph press statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Dr. Muideen Akorede to journalists in Ilorin while the meeting was underway. The one-paragraph press statement read: “Following due consultations with the people and in response to calls by major stakeholder groups in the state, Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed today defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), having realized that the All Progressives Congress (APC) can no longer serve as a platform for achieving the aspirations and expectations of his people. Members of the House of Representatives present at the meeting included Hon Abdulrazaq Atunwa, Hon Ahman Pategi, Hon Abubakar Kannike and Hon Zakareh Mohammed. Also present were Senators Sha’aba Lafiagi of Kwara North, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim of Kwara South and members of the state House of Assembly which included the Speaker, Dr. Ali Ahmad and all but one member of the House of Assembly, Mr. Saheed Popoola.

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