The All Progressives Congress (APC) has gone back to the drawing board to restrategise ahead of the Election Petition Tribunal ruling in the Kogi governorship election.
Part of the strategy, it was gathered, was last Friday’s announcement by former Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Smart Adeyemi that he had decamped to the APC from PDP.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the APC has weighed the option before it in the matter before the Tribunal and one of the strategies by the party is to field Adeyemi as its governorship candidate in the event that the tribunal rules that fresh governorship election be conducted in Kogi state.
Announcing his move to the APC on Friday, in Abuja, Adeyemi, who was a member of the PDP for 12 years and was elected Senator for two terms of four years each, had said that the was as a result of the neglect Kogi West Senatorial District had suffered from the successive PDP administrations in the state.
He said it was the decision of the people of Kogi West to leave the PDP for the APC and that since politics is essentially local, he had no choice than to bow to the pressure of his people to dump the PDP.
Adeyemi had denied that his defection had anything to do with survival politics, pointing out that while in the Senate, he was one of those who criticised the PDP administration, especially the rising cases of corruption.
“After due consultations with both local and national leaders across my state and the nation, we have come to the realisation that we have to take a major decision for the best interest of our people. Politics is essentially local.
“Therefore, in the light of the sincerity and commitment of President Buhari, his strength of character and support of eminent personalities such as Baba Olusegun Obasanjo, the leader of men, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, and the support of the leadership of the ruling party towards the reconstruction of the socio-economic fabric of our nation, we have decided to defect to the APC today, being April 8, 2016 by the grace of Almighty God.
“We hereby urge all our supporters and patriotic Nigerians to support the effect of a new socio-economic order of this administration,” Adeyemi said.
He further observed that the neglect and poor performance of the PDP resulted in anti-party reactions, culminating in the victory of the APC in the Kogi governorship election last year.
“Politics is all about the well-being of the people; politics must be in the interest of the people and politics is essentially local,” he said and urged Nigerians to have faith in the administration of President Buhari, saying, “we are mindful of the harsh economic situation in the country due to global economic recession and poor planning in the past.”
“However, this administration must be supported to succeed because of the determination and sincerity to balance the books and balance the economy. My conscience bears me witness that I am convinced that this administration means well for Nigerians. It is honest and focused towards building a viable economy.
“I strongly believe that the future of our nation is brighter under this administration due to the great strength of character of our President and his visible passion towards enduring a new socio-economic order. It might be difficult today, but I know that Nigeria will cruise again under Buhari,” he said at his residence in Abuja.
Recall that the Kogi governorship election was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in November, 2015, following the sudden death of the APC candidate in the election, Prince Abubakar Audu, while the result of the election was still yet to be declared.
Following Audu’s demise, the APC had snubbed his running mate, James Faleke, and opted instead for Yahaya Bello. Bello came second to the late Audu in the APC governorship primary held in August 2015.
Adeyemi’s defection to the APC, it was learnt, came after series of discussions with the former Senator, with a promise that he would fly the party’s flag if the Governorship Election tribunal sitting in Abuja, declares the election null and void, and calls for a fresh conduct of the election.
Recall that the PDP candidate in the election, Wada, is asking the Tribunal to declare him winner of the election as the person with the next highest votes following Audu’s demise or call for fresh election.
The late Audu’s choice of Faleke as running mate in the election did not go down well with some members of the party. Faleke is alleged to be a political godson of former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who it was also alleged, foisted him on the late Audu.