A leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and former Chairman of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG) in Edo State, Comrade Johnbull Asemota, the present Chairman, Comrade Osahon Osamuyi, 20 members of the PDP Executive in Uhumwonde Local Government Area and members of the NUPENG union numbering over 3,000, have formally joined the All Progressives Congress at a mass rally in Benin City, last Saturday.
Mr. Peter Okhiria, chief press secretary to Gov. Oshiomhole, in a statement, quotes Comrade Asemota as saying that he decided to join the APC to lend support to the governor in his quest to quickly develop the state.
Oshiomhole, who addressed the defecting PDP leaders and their supporters said “I am happy today that many people have continued to see the developmental projects of this administration especially Uhumwonde people by joining the All Progressive Congress (APC).
“This man you see with me is a Comrade like me and those people who separated us before now have gone and he is with us today. In fact, PDP is finished in Uhumwonde Local Government.
“For too long, few people have held Edo State in bondage, they pocket everything they see and reduced the State to a laughing stock.
He said “when I arrived here in 2007, PDP said I was joking; that they will rig the election because everybody as at then believed that rigging was a way of life, but we have demobilized them”.
Oshiomhole stressed “in all elections conducted from the units to the 192 wards in the state, we have defeated the Peoples Democratic Party. God has used us to deepen their graves because God can see our heart.
“I read a report in one of the National newspapers last week where the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh said the trouble in Edo is caused by the Comrade Governor because he wants to become the next Vice-President of Nigeria.
Oshiomhole said “right there in the Villa in Abuja, I told them that I am qualified to be the President of Nigeria because I have the qualifications, the integrity, the pedigree and the capacity to do so. I have commanded the productive forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
According to him, “the issue of President or Vice-President is not the problem. I have a job which I applied for. I have asked for the mandate to govern Edo State and I promised to deliver on my promises even without any stated point or agenda.
He said “the water, the roads, the schools and electricity supply delivered to the people have become my own agenda. The APC government does not believe in any 4-point or 7-point agenda. Ours is eye-marked and not ear-marked.
Comrade Oshiomhole further said that “PDP in its desperate move to win elections by all means come 2015 have decided to use millions of naira from Abuja to buy over APC lawmakers in the Edo State House of Assembly.
“Some of the lawmakers in their bid to complete their various hotel projects sold the peoples mandates that were never bought with money.
Oshiomhole said “the crisis in Edo State House of Assembly is a result of the failure of the four PDP lawmakers to obey court orders. Those who make law should not be seen breaking the laws. The four PDP lawmakers are seen to perpetrate illegality by disobeying court order and as if that were not enough, they went to the Federal Court of Appeal to restrain the rest of the APC lawmakers led by Rt. Hon. Uyi Igbe from suspending them from the House. Yet, the court disgraced them and asked that they first go and obey the order of the state High Court of Justice”.
Governor Oshiomhole however assured the PDP defectors that his administration will continue to provide dividends of democracy to the people of Uhunmwonde Local Government and urged their leader, Comrade Johnbull Asemota to join other leaders at the Local Government and mobilize for the APC.
Leader of the decampees, Comrade Johnbull Asemota who was a one-time House of Representatives aspirant on the platform of the PDP said “before the coming of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, when it’s going to rain, cellophane bags are seen flying everywhere. Today Oshiomhole has cleaned the environment.
“There are street lights everywhere, traffic lights on every junction in Benin City, there are good roads, and schools have been modernized; if there is anything like 3rd term, we would have given it to Oshiomhole, he has done well for the state. Since there is no 3rd term, we will support whoever APC projects to continue from where he stops”.
Also, the present state chairman of NUPENG, Comrade Osahon Osamuyi on his part pledged to support Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and APC in the state stressing that those who have been obstacles in their contribution toward the support of the Comrade Governor in the past have returned to the destination.
The APC State Chairman, Mr. Anselm Ojezua later decorated the Leader of the defectors, Comrade Johnbull Asemota, the present NUPENG Chairman Edo State, Comrade Osahon Osamuyi and others with APC emblem while their former PDP membership cards were openly destroyed.