A few weeks after he left Nigeria’s main opposition party, APC, Tom Ikimi has stated that he would join the mainstream ruling party where he has ‘friends’.
Mr. Ikimi dumped the APC after being denied the national chairmanship of the party and after bitter squabbles with some leaders of the party, including Bola Tinubu. The Edo politician then accused Mr. Tinubu of hijacking the APC.
On Monday in Benin, Mr. Ikimi said that he is ready to ensure that Edo is included in the mainstream states in the South-South region in future.
He addressed journalists shortly after arriving Benin Airport from Abuja.
He said that what was in the future for the state was greater than what had been seen so far, adding that he was back with the Federal Government.
He also said that there was no reason to be at logger head with the Federal Government as development in his native land of Igueben, Edo State, was done by the Federal Government and not the state government.
He further said that he had had talks and discussions with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Tony Anenih.
According to him, it is time to make peace with his kinsmen as well as time for him to gravitate to a party where he has friends.
Ikimi said it was a good thing that the nation had two dominant political parties, the APC and the PDP, stressing that it was time for people to decide where they belong.
He said that the decision to leave the APC was not for witch hunting or for vendetta, but was quick to add that the APC was a party where leaders witch hunt one another.
The former APC leader said he was back home for final consultation with his people, and that the wait won’t be long before bringing to the awareness of the people the party he was pitching tent with.
Earlier, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who led some other PDP chieftains to the airport to receive and welcome Mr. Ikimi, said that they had come to identify with him and to tell him that they would not allow him to be disgraced.
Mr. Ize-Iyamu said the reception was in solidarity with one of their own and to let him know that the people of the state still believed in him and trust him.
He expressed the hope that the PDP would win future elections in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that those who welcomed Mr. Ikimi were Lucky Igbinedion, former governor of Edo; Lucky Imasuen; Tony Omoaghe; and Evelyn Igbafen.