Not less than 5,000 members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during a rally in Kaduna State in Northern Nigeria.
The defection, a major setback to the APC in the state, is coming barely two days after the 23 de-registered political parties in the state joined the ruling party.
The Friday’s event, attended by the state Governor, Mukhtar Yero, his deputy, Nuhu Bajoga and top party officials, took place at the Umaru Yar’adua indoor sports hall in Kaduna, the state capital.
Receiving the new members, the chairman of PDP in the State, Abubakar Haruna, urged the defectors to go back to their wards and register, and not to involve themselves in any obnoxious act that could tarnish their image before and after elections.
The decamped members of the APC pleaded that they should be accepted as prodigal sons having discovered that they took a wrong decision by leaving the party in the first instance. They said that no other party is concerned with the peaceful coexistence and development in Kaduna than the PDP.
But the state APC has refuted the purported defection of its members to the PDP, saying those who defected were never card carrying members of the party.
Inter- Party defections have continued to unfold in Kaduna State, as the 2015 elections fever sets in.
Part of the struggle among the political gladiators is the battle for who occupies ‘Sir Kashim Ibrahim House’, the state’s official seat of power.
Ever since the successful emergence of the APC, there has been an upsurge in defection, with the new party bountifully harvesting a deluge of defectors mainly from the ruling PDP.
In December 2013, over 1,000 PDP members, including a former state PDP chairman, Yaro Makama, join the APC.
Indications are rife that the PDP was severely pinched by losing a good number of its strong members to the APC and is doing everything possible to bring its aggrieved members back to the party.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, Governor Yero said: “The people can only enjoy the dividends of democracy if they participate in the affairs of the government and support the present administration in the state”.