The Director General of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign organisation in Gombe State has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the presidency has said.
A statement by presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said Bala Bello Tinka (alias Tinka Point) met with President Muhammadu Buhari at State House, Abuja, on Thursday night.
Mr Adesina said during the meeting, Mr Tinka pledged allegiance to the APC and also vowed to bring his political weight to bear on the election of the President for a second term in office.
“Coming exactly a fortnight to the presidential election, the defection of Alhaji Tinka deals a massive blow to the PDP in Gombe. PDP currently governs the state, and has done so since 2003,” Mr Adesina said.
“President Muhammadu Buhari campaigns in Gombe Saturday and Alhaji Tinka is expected to formally join the APC, alongside others, during the event.”
Mr Tinka had aspired to succeed Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo as governor but was unsuccessful in clinching the governorship ticket of the party.
The businessman is a major contractor in the state. He owns Tinka Point Limited, which he started in 1986 as Bala Tinka Enterprise.
The company has since grown into a major local construction company in the country handling construction of roads, erosion control and other infrastructures for the federal and some state governments.
Mr Tinka was a close ally of Governor Dankwambo, and it remains unclear why he defected from the governor’s party.
There were reports in January 2018 that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detained the businessman over alleged complicity involving alleged slush funds used by the PDP for its 2015 campaign.
The status of the case remained unclear.