BARRING any hitches, the former Secretary to the Edo State Government, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu will defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) any moment from now.
Ize-Iyamu, the PDP candidate in the 2015 governorship election in Edo State who confirmed the move in a telephone interview with Tribune Online yesterday said that he decided to yield to pressure from his supporters who have persistently pleaded with him to “return home.”
The former South-South zonal vice-chairman of the APC who is presently in Abuja to strategize his declaration said that he succumbed to pressure from his supporters because of the disarray within the rank of the opposition party.
He said that having done his best to reconcile the warring parties within the PDP without success, he decided to call it quit and was fully set to join the APC.
He said that he was in Abuja to meet with the top leadership of the party so as to perfect the plan for the defection which will take place at a grand rally to be held in the Edo State capital.
Ize-Iyamu, however, insisted that as a founding member of the Action Congress (AC) which metamorphosed to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and later the APC following the merger of several parties, he was merely returning home and not defecting.
He said: “It is true that I am leaving the PDP for the APC. I am not defecting but merely returning home. I am quitting the PDP because of the too many problems bedevilling the party which I have tried in my own way to resolve without success. It is not a rumour, I am going back home to APC.”
Only recently, a pressure group, PDP Integrity Group suspended the trio of the former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, former Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadohme and former ex-Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen from the party over alleged anti-party activities.
Also suspended were Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Senator Yisa Braimoh, Senator Victor Oyofo and the former leader of the House of Representatives, Col. Tunde Akogun.
A statement by former Chairman, Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Mr. Jarret Tenebe and former two-time chairman, Owan West Government Area, Dan Asekhame explained that the suspension came after a stakeholders meeting attended by PDP leaders across the 18 local government areas of the state.
Tenebe and Asekhame, however, passed a vote of confidence on the Chief Dan Orbih led exco and adopted former governor, Chief Lucky Igbinedion as the leader of the party in Edo State.
On why some of the leaders were suspended, the statement explained that Chief Oghiadohme was seen when he flew a helicopter with governor Godwin Obaseki last weekend to attend the convocation ceremony of the Edo University Iyamho last weekend.
They said: “He even displayed the sign 4+4, endorsing Obaseki when we have our own PDP aspirants. Chief Ikimi and others have been holding clandestine meetings with Governor Obaseki where we learnt reliably that the governor was asked to bring N6bilion so he can join PDP and take the ticket.
“We are also aware that they have been meeting with the state chairman of the APC, Anselm Ojezua with a view to perfecting this plan. We believe as a party we must instil discipline because it is because of the cash and carry politics some people played in the past they led to the problem of PDP in Edo State.
“As we move towards 2019 governorship election, we urge our aspirants to disregard the activities of greedy politicians and continue their campaigns. We will fight indiscipline in the PDP no matter whose ox is gored.”