THE numerical strength of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State of Osun is currently dwindling, following defections of members of the party to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
OSUN DEFENDER noted that the crisis rocking the Osun APC has given some valuable members of the party, who claimed to be sidelined by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, reason to decamp to the PDP.
Though the defections are still politically light, the APC might witness massive decamping of its members before the July 2022 governorship election, according to political analysts.
Findings by the medium revealed that some APC members, who neither belong to The Osun Progressives nor IleriOluwa factions of the party are skeptical of the party’s victory in 2022 if Oyetola is given return ticket.
The skeptical APC members, it was learnt, have concluded to join the PDP immediately Oyetola is given the APC governorship ticket in anticipation of enjoying the goodies of a new government.
Besides, other aggrieved members of the APC have already been dumping the party for the PDP.
Just yesterday, hundreds of thousands of the APC members left the party for PDP in Ede South Local Government of the State.
The defectors, among who are former councillors from Alajue Ward and Loogun ward, were received by the leadership of the PDP in Ede.
It would be recalled that about 5,000 APC members were said to have defected to the PDP in June this year in Iragbiji, the hometown of Governor Oyetola in Boripe Local Government of the State.
Though the number of the defectors was questioned, there were actually hundreds of members of the APC that joined PDP.
On October 3, another set of APC members decamped to PDP in Oke-Ila, Ifedayo Local Government of the State.
The defectors were led by Hon Yisa Adebayo, a former Chairman of the local government.
A female politician in the same local government, Hon Funmilayo Olasehinde-Mustapha, had earlier in September this year, led some other PDP members to the APC.
A former member of the State of Osun House of Assembly, Hon Olaide Ajibola, left the APC for PDP with hundreds of his loyalists and supporters in Osogbo, in September this year.
Ajibola was the Director General, Ajibola Basiru Campaign Organisation in 2019. He represented Olorunda State Constituency between 2007 and 2011 under the umbrella of the Action Congress of Nigeria. He later left the party for PDP in 2010. He rejoined the APC later.
A grassroots mobiliser of the APC in Iwo, Mr. Nurudeen Emiloju, angrily left the party early this month with the excuse that he was being treated as an outcast in the party.
Emiloju, it was gathered, is a strong politician who influences decisions of majority of youths and other residents of Iwo.
Scores of APC members had two months earlier switched their loyalty to PDP in Iwo, before Emiloju’s defection.
The APC defectors were led by an APC chieftain, Hon. Ismail Labaowo, a former councillor in Gidigbo Ward I, Iwo Local Government.
Labaowo lamented abuse of power by governor Oyetola and total neglect of Iwo local government in terms of infrastructural development as his reason for dumping the party.
He said: “There is no reason to stay in a party where your voice cannot be heard. I am in politics to protect the interest of my people.”
On Wednesday, another set of APC members decamped to PDP in Iwo. They were led by a stalwart of the party, Mr. Kehinde Kokoro and Hon. Akeem Kobaje.
Some members of the APC also left the party for PDP in Ido-Osun, Egbedore Local Government of the State few weeks ago.
Around the time, some notable members of the ruling party in Oba-Ile, Olorunda Local Government of the state, decamped to PDP, saying that APC has lost its direction.
The defectors were led by Hon. Wale Fagbemi popularly known as Janco, Mr Sulaimon known as Baba Ede, Mr Jimoh Ajinikirun, among others.
Also in April this year, scores of APC members decamped to PDP in Ilesa West Local Government on two different occasions. Hon Bukola Amure, a stalwart of the APC led other members of the party to PDP on April 10, 2021.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that more members of the APC have concluded plans to defect to the PDP in Odo-Otin, Ayedire, Boripe, Ilesa West, Ife Central, Ife East and Ife North Local Government Areas of the state.