By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna.
The camp of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) in Niger State was further depleted as no fewer than eighty two members including the suspended state Deputy Chairman of the party, Aminu Yusuf Wushishi along with his sympathisers on Saturday broke out of the umbrella to seek new platform under the governing All Progressive Congress, (APC).
Other decampees from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party include the former Speaker, Niger State House of Assembly, (NSHA), Hon. Adamu Usman and a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state who served in two previous administrations in the state.
Adamu Usman and Abdullahi Bawa had served as Commissioners for Justice in the state at different times with the erstwhile governor Engineer Abdulkhadir Abdullahi Kure, (now late) and his successor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu.
Other prominent names amongst those who had changed camps are Yusuf Tagwai, a former Chief of Staff and Commissioners in the immediate past administration of Babangida Aliyu, a former Commisioner for Women Affairs during Kure’s administration and Director General, (Talba Campaign Organisation),Hajiya Kaka Wabi as well as a former Commissioner for Tertiary Education in the immediate past administration in the state, Dr. Nuhu Bashir Tachi.
Similarly, a former Director of Protocols to governor Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, Hassan Mohammed Baro and his erstwhile Advicer on Political Affairs, Tony Lanko also made the list of those who had crossed over to the camp of the All Progressive Congress in the state.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, assisted by the Chairman of the party in the state, Engineer Mohammed Jibrin Imam Gawu on Saturday received the decampees at the Government House during a brief ceremony ahead of the larger one at an elaborate ceremony at the state’s Trade Fair Complex at Shango area of the state capital.
Basking in the euphoria of the massive sweep of new decampees, governor Sani Bello said the event was an emotional thing to him.
Governor Sani Bello urged the Chairman of the party in the state and other executive members of the party to ‘carry the new members along and ensure that regular meetings are held to solidify greater bounds and fraternity within the party in the state.
He expressed happiness with the decision of the 82 decampees amongst whom are 30 former Local Government Chairmen in the state who along with their supporters, had opted for the right political platform.
He said the rising profile of the APC was because of the party’s strong stance on the supremacy of the party above all other things.
The governor however charged the executive members of the party as well as other members of the party to continue to work harder on other members of the opposition in the state to woe them into the fold.
“I am emotional about what we are witnessing today, emotional because many of them are my friends. I left them there in the PDP and today i am welcoming them here into the APC”.
And while presenting the PDP decmapees to governor Sani Bello, the state party Chairman, Engineer Mohammed Imam assured the new entrants of level playing field without discrimination.
He said the APC was a party was for all to enjoy all benefits accruable to ‘others already within the fold’.
At an elaborate ceremony at the Trade Fair Complex, the decampees were received by the National Women’s Leader of the APC, Ramatu Tijjani who stood in for the National Chairman of the party, John Odhegun.
The new entrants were presented with broom each as a symbol of the APC at the ceremony attended by stalwarts of the party.