The lawmaker says the defectors are on pilgrimage and will come back to the PDP
A member of the House of Representatives, representing Qhanpan, Shendam/ Mikang federal constituency, Innocent Tilsel, on Tuesday described the All Progressive Congress, APC, as a pressure group.
The lawmaker stated at Tunkus, Mikang Local Government Area, in an interview with Journalists shortly after witnessing the commissioning of a skill acquisition centre to train youth in vocational skills.
“As far as I am concerned, APC is a pressure group, not a political party. Even with the defection of National Assembly members to APC, particularly our members from the House of Representatives, the PDP still constitutes the majority both at the Senate and at the House,” he said.
Mr. Tilsel stressed that most of those who left PDP to join APC, had only gone on pilgrimage.
“As I speak with you people, next week most members who are in the opposition parties will be decamping to PDP,” he said.
While speaking on APURIMAC, a non-governmental organisation, the lawmaker pledged to partner with the organization to enable them succeed in training the youth.
The lawmaker described the centre as an avenue to ensure peaceful coexistence of people in the locality.
“This centre will help in uniting people not just in Mikang but in the entire southern zone of our state, particularly in my constituency where I represent,” he said.
The skill acquisition centre was initiated by the European Union.
The traditional ruler of the area, Donard Puntel, commissioned the centre on behalf of the Plateau State government and requested that such centres be established in other council areas of Southern Plateau.
Mr. Puntel also enrolled in a computer program at the centre. Organizers of the program said the traditional ruler, after completing the six months computer program, will obtain a diploma in computer application.
The traditional ruler will, alongside 230 others, be trained in different skills including IT, catering, hairdressing, and knitting.
Addressing the gathering, the Regional Coordinator of APURIMAC in Africa, Leonllnalo Fani, solicited the support of the Plateau State government and the local community to enable the centre meet its objectives, saying that it will serve as a dialogue centre.
“This centre is not supposed to be for training in vocations alone, but a dialogue centre,” he said.
“We will need your commitment to effectively carryout our assignment”.
On his part, the country director of APURIMAC, Godwin Okoko, said the organization has in the past five years of its establishment in Plateau State trained 5853 people in different skills.
Mr. Okoko, solicited the support of the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, to enable the centre achieve its aspirations.
He also noted that beneficiaries of APURIMAC skills acquisitions have become employers of labour within Plateau and beyond.
Prospective trainees interviewed pledged commitment to their various programs.
Participation in the APURIMAC program already has two centres in Jos. There is no age restriction and the programmes are tuition free.