Some members and supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have decamped to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State.
The members who celebrated their defections on Saturday in Otukpa, headquarters of Ogbadibo Local Government Area of the state, said they were exiting the APC because of the “federal government’s poor handling of the incessant attacks and killings of the people by Fulani herdsmen”.
Earlier, governors Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, both members of the PDP, visited the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to commiserate with him and the people of Benue State.
The governors also made monetary donations to the state government for relief materials; a move which was seen by many as calculated attempt to lure the governor into PDP.
A PDP senator, Ben Murray-Bruce, had also stated openly that Mr. Ortom does not belong to the APC and urged him to join the PDP.
Also last week, Mr. Ortom and his predecessor and political rival, Gabriel Suswam, reconciled after three years of confrontation, at the palace of the paramount ruler of the Tiv People, theTor Tiv, James Ayatse.
Speaking on behalf of the defectors in Otukpa at the weekend, former House of Assembly aspirant under the APC, Ben Ebije, said the people decided to support the PDP in the coming general elections, so as to save lives of innocent farmers, market women and children.
Mr. Ebije also accused the APC of “jettisoning internal democracy with reckless impunity”, adding that no serious-minded person in Benue would drop a ballot for the APC come 2019. He urged others “who haven’t seen the light to quickly queue behind the PDP as better alternative.”
The PDP Chairman of Ogbadibo chapter, Vincent Amuche, who received the decampees on behalf of the state chairman, John Ngbede, said more people were already consulting to dump the APC in Benue.
He added that a great tsunami would hit the APC in the coming days as the pillar of the party at the state level was set to lead his flock into the PDP.
The PDP state chairman, who confirmed the defection to PREMIUM TIMES via phone call, said “they (PDP) are even expecting more decampees”.
“It happened in Ogbadibo local government area. I was not there myself but I asked my party chairman to receive them.
“Their reason was that this APC government has failed them. Some if them said that they can hardly fend for themselves. They can hardly pay the school fees if their children. They can hardly feed their families at home, so they better join a party that will bring hope for them.
“They’re about 2,500 or 3,000 of them that came out and we are expecting more. I think by the end of this month, we are still going to receive more decampees.”