The move was engineered by the acting governor, Ahmadu Fintiri.
In the aftermath of Governor Murtala Nyako’s impeachment, the All Progressive Congress, APC, might be on its way to collapsing in Adamawa State, as all the 21 Local government Council chairmen, councillors and development area administrators in the state have defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The chairmen, who joined Mr. Nyako in declaring for the APC, on Friday, announced their defection to the ruling party in the state in solidarity with the acting governor, Ahmadu Fintiri.
Mr. Finitiri had spent Thursday trying to convince the 21 local government chairmen and 50 Development area administrators to join the PDP.
The spokesperson of the chairmen, the chairman of Michika local government area, Vandi Favanza, told the Acting Governor of their readiness to support his government to deliver the dividends of democracy to the electorates in the state.
‘’We are here to announce our defection and declare our support and readiness towards moving the state forward,’’ Mr. Favanza said on Friday.
While responding, the acting governor thanked the chairmen, councillors as well as the development area administrators for their resolve to dump the APC. He promised to do his best to correct the wrongs of the past in order to enhance development in the state.
He said his administration was working with all relevant persons to chart the most viable alternative towards the enhancement of the welfare of all the people of the state. He said his administration would welcome genuine advice from all stakeholders.
In a swift reaction, the state chairperson of the APC, Binta Garba, said the party was not rattled by the defection; rather it would make the party stronger.
“You know, in politics, there is no permanent friend or permanent enemy but permanent interest. So, it’s not surprising to hear that they chose to defect because they were threatened with impeachment and dissolution by the acting governor as parts of PDP’s desperation to get power.
“But I will assure you that the electorates are watching the betrayal with keen interest. They only mortgaged their rights and political conscience. So, we are not disturbed, perturbed or rattled. APC will definitely continue to wax stronger,” said the party chairperson.
PDP set conditions for defectors
The state chapter of the PDP on Friday, while receiving the defectors, set strong conditions for the 21 local government chairmen and 36 areas administrators.
The state chairman of the party, Joel Madaki, who received the defectors said that PDP was willing to accept them if they would follow due process.
According to him, since the defectors were public office holders and leaders of APC in their various local government areas, it was imperative for them to go back to their individual wards and re-validate their PDP membership card.
Mr. Madaki also advised them to publicly renounce their APC membership in the media so that constitutional lapses would be averted.
The chairman of Michika local government, Mr. Favanza, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, pledged their unalloyed support and willingness to meet with the conditions given.
“We are not strangers in PDP, because it’s the party that gave us the mandate we are enjoying today. We will do anything to work for the interest of the party,” he said.
However, the Gombi local government chairman, Rufai Umar, expressed fear that the PDP executives at their local government level may not accept them, due to political differences that had earlier ensued. To this end, he prevailed on the state executives to set up committees that would harmonise them in the local level.
But Mr. Madaki declined the suggestion, saying that there was no need to form any committee but that the state executives would intervene when the need arose.
The same officials- all the 21 Local Government Chairmen and development areas administrator- defected in December 2013 from the PDP to APC, when then governor, Mr. Nyako, now impeached, decamped to the APC.
At the time, the Chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria, ALGON, Sa’abo Aliyu, in Adamawa state, told journalists that they resolved to follow Mr. Nyako to APC because they could attest to his character, and that Mr. Nyako “carried everybody along”.