The membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has continued to deplete as former Majority Leader in the state House of Assembly, Mr. Frank Okiye, led 20 leaders of the party and hundreds of supporters to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
Addressing the leaders of the APC, including the state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, Okiye said he was delighted to reunite with his “ideological friend.”
According to him, “We have walked into the centre from various directions and I have found out that in life, the only thing that is permanent is change and that the wind of change has taken off. This wind of change has been epitomised and demonstrated in the aggressive approach to liberate our people.”
“It is my pleasure to come out straight to identify with those things that have come from the Oshiohmole’s administration, that today, we are now freer than we were before. There is no gainsaying that change has taken place in the state whether anybody likes it or not.
“The old order has become moribund and monotonous, as ideas are no longer generated, order than here, we have a governor who has fire in his bones. He came and believed that there is need for change and there are evidences to demonstrate that this man has a focus and he is aggressively pursuing it.
“It got to a point where people realised that this man has a goal and they are with him with all seriousness, and that is the train of change. I want to be part of that change before it gets to its destination. My leaders and I who are here have resolved to make our little contribution to this process of change. History will not pardon us if on the road to the destination of the Nigerian project, our names reflect somewhere else.”
Receiving the defectors, Oshiomhole said the addition of Okiye to the APC family will further invigorate the party, adding that the free political environment being enjoyed in the state will continue to give room to the progressive-minded individuals to team up with the party.
“It is my hope that when the political environment is liberalised, people will join parties that reflect their values, not finding yourself in a party because there is no alternatives. When people have alternatives, people of the same ideas will flock together on the same political platform.
“I want to appreciate you for recognising that the worth of a politician is not only in his eloquence but also in his capacity to connect, to relate and work with your leaders and there is no better proof of that than the fact that today, you are here not just by yourself but with your own leaders from your area in the state,” the governor said.
According to Oshiomhole, “When people ask me what I consider to be my most important contribution to the development of the state, I am quick to say it is the impact we have made in our political environment in the state that we are used by God to reorder our environment such that the people cannot be enslaved. So I am happy that by working together with others, we have liberalised the politics of the state.”
The governor assured the people of Esan North-east Local Government Area that his government would continue to do more in the area of delivering the dividend of democracy to the people.