A former commissioner of works and transport under former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Baba Santali served as commissioner for eight years under Mr Lamido after serving under the preceding administration of Saminu Turaki as a special adviser.
Mr Santali, like some other former commissioners who served under Mr Lamido, had been invited by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for questioning over alleged dubious awarding of road contracts in the state.
He was considered a super-commissioner in Mr Lamido’s government and a member of the kitchen cabinet of the former governor.
Mr. Lamido is facing charges of awarding contracts to companies in which he had interest, allegedly using his two sons and others as fronts.
Mr Santali announced his defection to APC on Friday. He said he has left the PDP with hundreds of his supporters, including a former Kazaure Local Government chairman, Sule Taki.
He was a gubernatorial aspirant and also ran for senatorial ticket for Jigawa North-west district under the PDP but withdrew from the races for still unclear reasons.
He told journalists his decision to join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was in appreciation of President Muhammadu Buhari and his state governor, Muhammad Badaru, who he said are determined to move the country forward through good leadership.
He said even though he just formally decamped to the APC, he had been an ardent supporter of Mr Buhari since 2003.
“I dumped the PDP and registered with APC simply to join hands with the federal and state governments to make Jigawa State and Nigeria a better place for all,” he said.
He promised to work for the second term bid of Mr Buhari and Governor Badaru and all other APC candidates in the state.
Reacting to the defection, Mr Lamido said those defecting are materially and emotionally poor.
“Those defectors have served in the administration of former governor Saminu Taruki, they served under my administration and now they have transferred to Mr Badaru’s administration. Their defection doesn’t affect PDP popularity in the state but I’m disturbed by the shame they are portraying the state in the eyes of the world,” the former governor said.
Mr Lamido also said the PDP is determined to reclaim power in the state because people have realised their mistakes by voting APC.
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