On Thursday, the Social Democratic Party’s zonal chairmen in the three senatorial districts of Kogi State, together with the party’s chairmen in the 21 local government areas of the state, formally defected to the APC.
The top SDP officials said they examined their alternatives and decided to put the ongoing improvement of the state and the wellbeing of native peoples above other concerns before publicly announcing their decision to join the ruling party at the Government House in Lokoja.
Suleiman Isah, the SDP’s Zonal Chairman for Kogi East, attacked what he called the party’s ethnicity-based campaign, saying it was harmful to the state’s sociocultural well-being and might jeopardise the calm that has prevailed for a number of years.
“We are happy that this is happening today. Even while we were in the opposition, we were aware that you did a lot for the state. The infrastructure projects are what anyone cannot deny, Your Excellency. We have all decided to join the APC to support the efforts at further developing the state. And we will give all the necessary support to ensure victory for the APC candidate in the governorship election,” Isah said.
He praised Governor Yahaya Bello for his outstanding achievements over the last seven years in the fields of agriculture, education, health, and road infrastructure, among others.
Through the APC candidate, Ododo Ahmed Usman, the zonal chairman, who is now known as a former SDP chieftain, gave the governor assurances about the commitment of all SDP chairmen to the Kogi Agenda.
Zubairu Ibrahim, the acting chairman of the SDP for the Kogi Central Senatorial District, praised the governor for the state’s infrastructural development and in particular for his substantial efforts to ensure the security of people and property.
He emphasised that well-intentioned Kogites would not sacrifice it on the altar of politics and claimed that the security and peace experienced by the people of Kogi State now is better than what existed in the past.
While welcoming the defectors, Governor Yahaya Bello praised them for taking this “courageous step” and their willingness to help the state prosper.
He reaffirmed his unwavering dedication to upholding an inclusive administration that provides equal opportunity to both seasoned and novice APC members.
Given his administration’s notable accomplishments in Kogi State, which had gained the APC extensive support, Governor Bello emphasised the significance of their decision to switch from the SDP to the APC at this particular time.
Governor Bello underlined the critical importance of promoting harmony among the state’s several ethnic groupings.
He emphasised the value of cooperative, issue-based campaigns and said that winning any election would depend on having a large following.
In the interest of everyone, he urged the populace to reject polarising strategies.