Boni Haruna was an ACN leader in Adamawa.
A former governor of Adamawa State and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria has returned to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
Mr. Haruna, two-term Adamawa governor on the platform of the PDP, also said the merger of opposition political parties will not dislodge the PDP come 2015.
The former governor declared his change of party on Tuesday while receiving the membership card of the PDP in his Mizan ward from the Joel Madaki led faction of the party. The faction is loyal to the PDP national chairman, Bamanga Tukur, and opposed by the state governor, Murtala Nyako, also a member of the PDP.
Mr. Haruna said that President Goodluck Jonathan and other representatives of the party in a “restructuring and sanitized PDP” will triumph against the current merger of opposition parties in the country.
The politician, a senatorial candidate of the ACN in 2011 in Adamawa, described himself as the symbol of the opposition and asserted that his return has led to the end of the opposition in the state.
The ACN was the second most popular party in Adamawa and came second in most elections in the state in 2011, including the governorship election.
Mr. Haruna, believed to have a huge followership, particularly among the Christians in Adamawa, said he and his supporters undertook a “momentary opposition” to re-invent themselves as key players in the Adamawa political space. He expressed confidence that his supporters would soon follow in his trail to improve the electoral fortunes of the party, promising that the development would enable the party “win elections now not by slim margins”.
The former governor said he was satisfied with the reforms going on in the PDP under Mr. Tukur.
“It (the reforms) may not be something that might be acceptable by all people. But by with me, I am satisfied with what is happening,” he said.
He said “there has been pressures and appeals from well meaning members of the party,” for him to return to the PDP.
Mr. Haruna promised to meet with Governor Nyako, whom he called the leader of the party, as part of his confidence building process to forge the party ahead. He said the PDP would always triumph when the leadership of the party embarks on the process of confidence building by according the state governor his leadership position.
The factional state PDP chairman, Mr. Madaki, represented by the factional secretary, A. T. Shehu, while presenting Mr. Haruna with the party’s membership card, noted that the former governor was returning to the house he helped build.
Mr. Shehu said the party has now been fully sanitized and remarked that when the party’s state executive was reconstituted, its first point of call was to Mr. Haruna’s residence to call back all the aggrieved members of the party in line with Mr. Tukur’s reconciliation move.
Mr. Haruna was first elected as deputy governor to Atiku Abubakar in 1999, but became governor after Mr. Abubakar emerged Nigeria’s vice president after his selection by President Olusegun Obasanjo as his returning mate in 1999.
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Mr. Haruna served as Adamawa governor from 1999 to 2007. He is accused of corruption and is being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.