Kogi 2023: Setback for LP as 21 LG chairpersons defect to APC
Chairpersons of Labour Party in 21 LGAs of Kogi, supporters when they were received into APC in Lokoja on Friday
Published By: Ayorinde Oluokun
By Thompson Yamput
The Kogi chapter of the Labour Party (LP) recorded a big setback on as the chairpersons of the party in all the 21 Local Governments of the state and other members dumped the party for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
The Labour Party leaders and their members were received into the ruling APC by the state Chairman of the party Alhaji Abdullahi Bello, at the Lugard House, Lokoja.
The leader of the defectors, Mr Awe Kayode, said that they decided to collapse their structure into the APC in order to support the party’s Governorship Candidate, Usman Ododo, in the forthcoming Nov. 11 governorship poll.
Kayode also said that their defection became imperative when they realised that the LP was no longer viable in the state.
“Another reason for our defection is our conviction that the APC candidate, Usman Ododo, has shown that he is a unifier whose nationalist qualities are needed to consolidate the achievements of Gov. Yahaya Bello.
“I was in APC before I left to join the Labour Party. I am back today with more people and we are ready to add value. LP got more than 76,000 votes in the last presidential election; we still have the same people who worked to achieve that feat.
“The state belongs to all of us and we have decided to jettison ethnic or religious agenda to support the candidate of APC who promotes the Kogi Agenda.
“Indeed Labour Party structure in the state was a formidable one that delivered massive votes to the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, without inducement or support, but we want to do the same to APC and Ododo this time around,” he said.
Kayode added that their decision to collapse the LP structure into the APC was to join forces with the progressives to actualise the ‘Kogi Agenda’ which sought to further unite the people and ensure even development across the board.
Similarly, the LP Chairman for Bassa LGA, who doubles as the Chairman of the LP Chairmen Forum, Jimba Emmanuel, noted that a political party was just a platform to power.
He added that good governance was about individuals passionate about development and attracting dividends of democracy to the people.
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He said that the governorship candidate of the LP lacked the required quality, hence their decision to abandon “the sinking ship”.
According to him, “I and my colleagues here have agreed to mobilise all our structures across the 21 local government areas to deliver massive votes for the APC candidate come Nov. 11.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Wemi Jones, commended the leader of the “Obedient Movement” in Kogi, Awe Kayode, for his doggedness and mobilisation ability.
Jones said that the crowd seen was a testimony of the genuineness of their decision to join the progressives.
He urged the defectors to join forces in canvassing and mobilising for the victory of the APC governorship candidate to ensure sustainability and consolidation of the gains made by Yahaya Bello’s administration.
Receiving the defectors, the Kogi APC Chairman, Abdullahi Bello, said “APC is a party that believes in development, equality and has a good reward system.”
Bello, assured the new members of enjoying all the privileges as other members of the APC, adding that he was glad that the defectors were passionate and reasonable enough to distinguish between right and wrong.
“Your decision to join the APC shows that you appreciated the developmental efforts of Gov Yahaya Bello and his unwavering commitment to the unity, security and well-being of the people of Kogi State.
“Aside from the character and leadership qualities of Usman Ododo, who is a critical member of the New Direction Administration, our governor has further equipped him with the needed knowledge and experience to lead the state and consolidate on his achievements,” he said.
He urged members of the APC to disregard noise makers in opposition parties and go all out to ensure massive victory for the APC candidate.
According to him, as far as the Nov. 11 governorship election is concerned, APC has no rival as victory is sure.