President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday shelved his plan to campaign in Akure, the Ondo State capital, after several aggrieved leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr. Jonathan’s campaign train was planned to move from Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, to Akure to complete the South-West end of the PDP presidential campaign.
But the President and his delegation called off the plan as news spread that top leaders of the PDP in the state had fled to the APC en masse.
The Akure rally has now been rescheduled for January 23, party insiders said.
Among those who defected were Femi Agagu, a former Chief of Staff to late Governor Segun Agagu, two former Speakers of the Ondo State House of Assembly, and five former Commissioners in the state.
Eight former local government chairmen as well as scores of ex-councillors also left the party in anger.
In all, about 48 PDP leaders were said to have defected, including former Ondo Assembly Speaker, Victor Olabimtan.
The defectors were received into the party by APC leaders at a ceremony held at APC secretariat along Oyemekun Road, Akure.
Another top PDP leader in the state, who asked not to be named for strategic reasons, said he and other aggrieved leaders would leave the party “any moment from now”.
The Ondo PDP descended into crisis in late 2014 after Governor Olusegun Mimiko defected from Labour Party to the fold. Those he met in the PDP have continued to complain of shoddy treatment and marginalisation.