Ahead of the 2022 governorship election in Ekiti State, staunch loyalist of the former governor, Ayodele Fayose, Dr. Tope Aluko has dumped the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressive Congress.
Aluko and his supporters were formally received into the party by the APC State Chairman, Barr. Paul Omotoso at Ward B Secretariat, in Iyin Ekiti, Irepodun/Ifelodun local government area of the state.
Aluko who led his followers from across the 16 local government areas of the state into the APC, said he joined the progressives fold because of the good work of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Kayode Fayemi.
He expressed his readiness to work for APC to retain Ekiti in the forthcoming 2022 governorship elections, saying that his coming will strengthen the party in the state.
The former PDP State Secretary said he consulted with his former leader, Fayose, whom he described as a mentor and friend, before joining the APC, stressing that the defection wouldn’t affect his relationship with him.
He said, “In December last year, I told Fayose that I want to settle down in Iyin Ekiti and play my politics. And with what Governor Fayemi has done for us here, the APC remains the only party here and I have to join the train. I told him I will be joining APC and he approved it. So, this defection won’t strain our relationship in any way.”
“I am coming to add value to this party. I am not here to cause trouble. They have given me the guidelines and I am ready to abide by it in the interest of discipline in our party”.
He added; “I can boldly say that the APC remains the only party to align with at this present time. All my followers are currently registering in APC and I am happy to be part of the moving train. I can beat my chest and say I am in safe hands as APC is lucky to be in the hands of focused leaders like Governor Fayemi, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and others in the state”.
Receiving the defectors, Omotoso, said he was happy to receive Aluko into the party, saying he is not just an ordinary member, but an asset. He assured that nobody will discriminate against them and that they should make sacrifices for the party to consolidate its grip on the state.
“No new joiners in APC. We are all equal and you start benefitting the very day you join us, so nobody would discriminate against you. For the sake of clarification, Tope Aluko had for long been in APC, this ceremony is just a formality. I know our people in the opposition are rattled by this defection because his decamping into APC will affect them adversely,” he added.
Omotosho advised the new members to be committed to the principles and ethos of the party, adding that their contributions towards the success of the party would prove their worth.