The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ogun State, in the last election Senator Buruji Kashamu, on Friday dissociated himself from some members of the party who defected to the All Progres- sives Congress (APC) in the state.
Kashamu, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Austin Oniyokor, said the defection of the members did not have his blessing. He explained that though he canvassed support for the Prince Dapo Abiodunled administration in the overall interest of the state, such gesture should not be misconstrued to mean he has defected to the APC or authorised any of his followers and associates to do so. Kashamu was reacting to the movement of over 1, 000 PDP members from Ogun East Senatorial District to the ruling APC on Thursday.
The defectors, led by Otunba Kolawole Akinyemi, were received by Abiodun’s Senior Special Adviser on Political Matters, Tunji Egbetokun. Egbetokun, who was one-time House of Assembly speaker, had while receiving the defectors said they made the right choice by joining the progressives, adding that the APC would ensure fairness, equity and justice for all its members at all times, irrespective of when they joined the party. “Our party is open to all, even members of other parties. You have come at the right time.
In our party, we do not discriminate as we give due recognition to all members irrespective of how long they have been members or their social standing,” he said.
While charging the new members to bring in more people into the party, the former Speaker stressed that the Abiodun administration would not stifle opposition as “competition becomes sweeter when there are opponents.” He assured that the incumbent administration would not disappoint members, saying it will formulate and execute policies and programmes that have positive impact on the socioeconomic well-being of the people.
But Kashamu, who represented Ogun East at the 8th National Assembly, urged all PDP members to keep faith with the party and continue to work for its interest and growth. He said: “I do not have any problem with anyone or a group of people exercising their right to freedom of association but such must be done responsibly and not with elements of lies, blackmail and outright subterfuge.