Mr. Adeleke said he was asked by leaders of the PDP to contest the governorship seat in Osun but was thereafter betrayed and hounded.
The first civilian governor of Osun state, Isiaka Adeleke, on Saturday described the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as a platform that breeds and supports thuggery and violence.
Mr. Adeleke, also a former senator, spoke in Osogbo, the Osun state capital, while leading thousands of his supporters and former members of the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr. Adeleke noted that with the alleged assault on him by the Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan, and the candidate of the PDP for the forthcoming governorship election in the state, Iyiola Omisore, he and his followers were no longer safe in the PDP.
The former governor claimed he was called upon by the leaders of the PDP to contest the governorship seat in Osun having realised that Mr. Omisore stood no chance against the incumbent governor, Rauf Aregbesola.
He said he was thereafter betrayed and hounded.
“I am happy to be in the progressives,” Mr. Adeleke said. “I was a governor under the Social Democratic Party (PDP) which was a progressive party, I was fully involved in the struggle for June I2.
“I was asked to come and vie for governorship that Omisore is not capable, I accepted, but a day to the congress I got to the hotel in Osogbo. The people I sent there were on the floor with guns pointed at their heads and I told the police that they are members of our party from Ede.
“I then moved towards the room where I met Sogo Agboola, Jelili Adesiyan, Iyiola Omisore, Gani Olaoluwa and others. As I was about explaining what happened outside to the Minister, he descended on me with blows. So also was Omisore and others.”
He said he had nothing against the PDP which once offered him a senatorial slot, but that he believed that if he should remain in the party, he would have to work for Mr. Omisore, saying working for Omisore would amount to working for a criminal.
“They are a party breeding thugs,” he said. “How can a whole minister of the Federal Republic be boxing, I have nothing against PDP, but I don’t see myself working for a criminal. I can’t support a violent person to go to the Government House.”
Also speaking at the event, Governor Aregbesola said Mr. Omisore lacked the mental capacity to govern the state as the values he is notorious for are alien to the people of Yorubaland.
Mr. Aregbesola said but for God all the feats he attained in the state would have been impossible. He admonished the people of the state against fighting the PDP, saying violence had become their stock in trade.
The governor said, “What will Adeleke want to gain from saying they want to kill him. He has been in the party for long. If we are not home with that, have we forgotten about the 5 people killed in Ife?
Earlier, the interim National Chairman of the APC, Bisi Akande, while presenting the flag of the party to Mr. Adeleke, said he was happy when the news broke that the former governor was joining the APC because of the numerical strength of Ede and the importance of Adeleke in the town.
Mr. Akande said, “It is because of the good work of Aregbesola that brought Adeleke to APC when he got tired of PDP where he alleged that Omisore and Jelil Adesiyan wanted to kill him. I am not going to talk about election now, but am coming back for that.
“I am very pleased with what I heard about the flag-off campaign in Ile-Ife, I was told that with the campaign, Omisore and his team became jittery, more of it will come before the election.
Speaking at the occasion, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State said he was not surprised with the defection of Mr. Adeleke to the APC, saying it is a homecoming since the history of the former governor could be traced to the progressives.
“I want to use this medium to charge APC members to be open-handed, there are many people in the PDP that will want to come to APC, our people should give them the chance to come to our party as politics is a game of numbers,” Mr. Fayemi added.
The Vice chairman of the PDP in Osun, who spoke on behalf of other decampees, Bashir Salam, said he and his colleagues were leaving the PDP security is lacking in the party.
We are leaving the PDP because their is no security of lifes and property. In a party where the first executive governor was assaulted without anything coming out of it, what do you expect to befall people like us?
“We have to look for change which we got in APC. Since the day I saw blood coming out from the mouth of one of our leaders when Senator Adeleke was assaulted by Omisore by Jelili, we became unsafe and we have to leave,” Mr. Salam said.
The interim Legal Adviser of the APC, Muiz Banire, said with the defection of Mr. Adeleke and others to come, Mr. Aregbesola is sure of victory at the August 9 election.
“Returning of Adeleke to his traditional home is not new because he does not belong to the PDP,” Mr. Banire said. “What Aregbesola has done in Osun is unprecedented as his good work has attracted the likes of the first civilian governor of the state. With this PDP should not be allowed to score 5 percent in the August election in Osun.”
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