ACN, PDP in war of words over defection from ruling party

The Nation

Alhaji Lai Mohammed THROUGH its National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday criticised a claim by the Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that those who defected to the PDP on Sunday were never its members.

Reacting to the reception organised by the ACN for thousands of politicians to its fold in Ilorin, the PDP, in a statement by Alhaji Mas’ud Adebimpe, described the defectors as political jobbers.

But Mohammed, who picked a hole in the PDP statement, wondered the PDP concern if truly the defectors were not its members.

“Why are they jittery if the people that decamped are not their members? Why are they so concerned? Mohammed told The Nation last night on phone from his Oro, Kwara State country home.

According to Mohammed, the ACN is warming up to receive more members from the PDP, saying some groups are holding talks with the ACN leadership.

The leadership of the ACN had at a rally on Sunday received the former PDP members.

The PDP statement described the defectors as attention-seekers, challenging them to list their contributions and value to the PDP in the state.

“They”, (defectors), “are spent forces and liabilities.”

Mohammed said the PDP was afraid of its shadow because it lacked legitimacy and lost the support of the people.

He said four of the defectors, including former commissioners and council chiefs, confirmed their exit from the PDP by attending an ACN function at Omupo.

According to Mohammed, it was illogical for a party that prided itself as the only party in the state to be afraid of opposition.

His words: “Before now, they said there was no opposition in Kwara State. The stealing of council funds and the general discontent led to a protest against the government. Yet it wants to pretend as if there is no opposition.

“ It is unbelievable that workers have not been paid their July salaries in September. The issue of the massive deductions from the council funds is now a major scandal that has pitted the people against the government. They are booed at every function.”

Mohammed and other ACN chieftains including the party’s governorship candidate in the 2011 election, Mr. Dele Belgore (SAN), the Secretary to the Government of Osun State (SSG), Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, former Ekiti Senator James Kolawole and Miriki Ebikibina were in Ilorin on Sunday to receive the defectors.

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