Countdown to Adamawa Elections: 13 ACN Members Defect to PDP
ADAMAWA, SEPTEMBER 38, (THEWILL) – In the build-up to the January 2012 governorship election in Adamawa State, 13 leading members of the Action Congress of Nigeria in the north eastern state on Tuesday reportedly defected to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
While the camp of incumbent governor and PDP flagbearer, Murtala Nyako has declared that it has welcomed more than 50,000 registered members of ACN to its fold, the opposition party has denied such claims, saying that the new PDP members were never in ACN in the first place.
Umaru Inuwa Gire, who led the 13 deflectors to PDP, said they were coordinators of ACN’s Markus Gundiri’s campaign organisation, but their shift in political base was necessitated by the need to identify with the good governance the state had been enjoying from Nyako and PDP.
Director-General, Nyako/Ngillari Campaign Organization, Felix Tangwami, speaking at the presentation of the new PDP members to its Executive, explained that more than 50,000 card-carrying members from the opposition had dumped their party for Nyako. Thirteen of them, he said, were former local government coordinators for ACN in the governorship race for the rescheduled January polls.
But Alhaji Boni Haruna, a former governor of the state and top ACN leader, immediately denied the claims, saying that the rebels couldn’t have been ACN members. And if they were, he expressed assurance that their decampment must have been fuelled by greed.
State chairman of the PDP, Kugama Minjinyawa Umaru Kugama, in an interaction with the media after the presentation, exuded happiness and satisfaction with successfully wooing and winning over opposition members against whom he said PDP had battled on the field. “These are staunch ACN members that we have fought on the field. Thirteen of them are senior stakeholders who coordinating the gubernatorial campaigns of their party, and they have now come to support Governor Nyako’s campaign for 2012 gubernatorial elections in the state.”
However, he boasted that victory for PDP in January should not be attributed to the decampment, as it would only serve as reinforcement. “Even before the coming of the former ACN members, the party was already bracing for victory, so the defection of the former supporters of the gubernatorial candidate of ACN will only reinforce our victory by a landslide margin.”