The Political Capital of Kogi State was on Saturday, briefly moved to Okpo, the Headquarters of Olamaboro Local Government Area, where eminent political figures received over 2000 former members and leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and others ditched their parties for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Okpo was therefore a beehive of political activities as broom sellers made brisk business as they witnessed the turnout of people in their numbers to embrace the party at the centre.
Those that decamped told Inside Story that it was a demonstration of their gratitude to the administration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello for the unparalleled development he has brought to the council and the love he has shown to Igalaland in general.
Led by one of the iconic political figures in the area, Hon Yunusa Gabriel Olofu, the decampees said their decision to leave the PDP and other parties was informed by the tremendous accelerated infrastructural and human capital advancement the area has witnessed within the short period of the Yahaya Bello government in Kogi State.
Olofu, who is a former Director-General, Kogi State Liaison Office, Lagos during the reign of Ibrahim Idris as governor of kogi, also served as Chairman of the Local Government Area, member representing Olamaboro State Constituency in the Kogi State House of Assembly between 2007 and 2011 and a staunch political leader in the PDP fold.
He said the people of the Local Government made the decision from across the areas that make up the council, including Okpo, Ogugu and Imane Districts, saying that they have never encountered such monumental positive turnaround in their political fortunes since the creation of the state.
Hon Olofu, who said as far as he was concerned the People’s Democratic Party was dead in the Local Government,
said they have seen the light and have decided to pitch their tent with the progressives in the APC.
The former PDP stalwart, who promised to canvass more support for the party to give it an overwhelming victory in the next election, said they would not rest on their oars until victory was achieved.
On his part, the member representing the area in the state House of Assembly, Hon Linus Ojochenemi Enenche, welcomed the new decampess, and commended their courage for the decision.
He promised that the party would treat them as equals, stressing that politics is about interest.
In a goodwill message at the event, the Secretary to Kogi State Government (SSG) Dr. (Mrs) Folashade Ayoade Arike, reminded the gathering of the important role of women in politics, saying they contribute immensely towards ensuring victory for any party of their choice.
She also assured them of the commitment of the Yahaya Bello government to providing all parts of the state with requisite dividends of democracy for overall development of the state.
In their separate remarks, other staunch politicians that spoke at the occasion, which included Alhaji Ibrahim Linco, the state APC women leader Hajia Rabi Emere and others, all praised the present administration for its commitment towards grassroots development and reiterated their commitments to the APC course in the state.
Alhaji Linco particularly justified the reason every Igala son and daughter should support the Governor, stressing that he has shown his love for the people by giving their sons opportunities at the federal level in form of ministerial and Resident Electoral Commission appointments.
“What is happening (the decamping ceremony) is like an earthquake. It is a justifiable decision by our people to decamp to the APC because the Governor has shown us that he is detribalized. The Ministerial and Resident Electoral Commissioner positions he gave to our sons are positions he could have given to anyone, but he chose to give it to our sons, so we must support him,” he pointed out.
He further assured government functionaries at the event that several other notable sons and daughters of Igala land and Kogi East in general would soon begin to make their intentions to decamp to the ruling APC public.