A former factional governorship candidate of the People’s Domocratic Party (PDP), Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, and a federal lawmaker of the party, Johnson Agbonayinma, Friday defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Others who joined the defection party include former Edo State House of Assembly member, Blessing Agbebaku, Mr. Peter Ebo some ward executives and members across the State.
Welcoming the defectors to the party at the ceremony which held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, in Benin City, the State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, said they have an equal rights with those who have been in the party for years.
He urged the new members to bring their ingenuity to bear to move the party forward. He also called on other members to rally round them new members and give them the necessary support to ensure the development of the party in the State.
The immediate past Governor of the State, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, who was also on ground to receive the defectors, described Uduoriyekemwen and Agbonayinma as movers and shakers of the Edo State politics.
“Those who know Hon. Matthew Uduoriyekemwen, you like to call him Major, but I call him Field Marshal, because this man has energy, this man is rugged, this man is dogged, this man is grassroot, this man is a mover, this man is a shaker and by the time he left the PDP, the party is finished.
“So, Matthew, welcome. With you, what you could have used two bullets, just one cough is a enough,” Oshiomhole said.
The former governor said the presence and the quality contributions the new members were bringing to the party is worth commending, as both have been tried and tested.
Earlier in his speech, Mr. Uduoriyekemwen while stating his reasons for pitching tent with the APC in the state, said he was motivated by the sincerity of Obaseki and that for him to criticize his government, he would rather join him to develop the State.
“Why did I come to join the APC? You all know that I resigned from the PDP since September 2017. When I resigned, I decided to watch and see. Governor Obaseki, we are all calling him wake and see.
“Everyone of you knows that I wanted to be governor and if you have somebody who is already a governor and he is doing those things you would have done and is even doing them better than you, and we all believe that Edo State should be better, we believe that Edo State should come first, we believe every child should have a better education, our roads should be motorable, our market women should have an environment where they are able to trade and at the end of the day, make profit and support their families, we all have to support him.
“I saw sincerity in government. I saw sincerity in Governor Obaseki. I saw that the man does not need distraction and all that he needs to take Edo State to where he ought to be is for everyone of us who believe in the progressive development of Edo State to support him, join him in his quest to develop our State,” he said.
On his part, Mr. Agbonayinma, who represents Egor/Ikpoba Okha Federal Constituency, said PDP was a party full of impunity and that all his effort to put the party in the right perspective proved abortive, informed his decision to quit the party.
Agbonayinma pledged his readiness to work with the State Governor to ensure the development of the party in the State.