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More than 20,000 members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday move to the Accord Party in Lagos State, stating that that they were aggrieved. Most of them said that the main reason for their defection is the impunity the leaders of the party in the state displayed in depriving Governor Akinwunmi Ambode from contesting a second term in office despite the fact that he has done well in office.
Earlier the Accord party governorship candidate, Engineer Joseph Ola Beckley stepped down for Agbaje so as to join forces to remove APC from power in Lagos state. The defectors came from all the 20 Local Government area of Lagos State to join the Accord party and then met with Agbaje and his running mate Mrs. Haleemat Oluwayemisi Busari at the Lagos Airport Hotel. Among them too is former Lagos State Commissioner for Power, Mr. Wale Oluwo who recently resigned from the cabinet of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode as Commissioner of Energy and Mineral Resources to join PDP, was with Agbaje at the occasion.
Rev. Adebayo Adeniji, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Accord, while presenting Agbaje to party men, said his adoption was strategic.
However, the defectors were led by a former chieftain of the APC, Mr. Sunday Ajayi. Ajayi said they decided to dump APC for Accord Party due to widespread impunity perpetrated by the leadership of APC. Addressing a crowd of faithful, including chieftains of the PDP and the Accord Party, Ajayi stated “we, the leaders of the Aggrieved APC, have decided to bid bye-bye to the APC over the reign of impunity being carried out by the party in the state.”
Ajayi continues: “Until now, we were members of the APC; but today we have decided to dump the party with our teeming members, numbering about 25,000 from across all the local government areas of Lagos State,” he said, adding, “The reason for the defection of our members is not farfetched. We are all living witnesses to how the APC conducted its primaries to pick its candidate. You will agree with me that the process was far from being free and fair to all members of the party.
You can imagine the treatment that they gave our amiable Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode. What happened to the Governor is rather unprecedented. It has never happened before that a sitting Governor would be prevented from getting a second term. “When the people asked, the excuse they gave was that although the man worked, he didn’t do well as a party man. The question now is: Was Ambode not a party man before they picked him as the party’s candidate in 2015? We are tired of this high level of impunity in the APC and we have opted to leave the party for them.”
I want to take this opportunity to welcome our brothers and sisters from the Accord Party who earlier today endorsed my candidacy for Governor alongside 20,000 other members who defected from the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State. pic.twitter.com/0F8KOovBCg
— Jimi Agbaje (@jimiagbaje) December 20, 2018