2015: PDP Woos Lawmakers In APC States

The Peoples Democratic Party has set in motion a machinery to woo legislators in states controlled by the All Progressives Congress.

Findings by Sunday PUNCH in some of the affected states revealed that plans have reached an advanced stage to win over legislators, especially in states hitherto controlled by the PDP.

Top among these states are Kano, Rivers, Kwara, Edo and Sokoto.

This followed what party sources described as the “unprecedented” success of such a venture in Adamawa State.

It was learnt that the party’s hierarchy, which is said to enjoy the confidence of the Presidency, has initiated contacts with some of the legislators, using proxies.

In Kano State for instance, 33 out of the 40 members of the House of Assembly defected with Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso from the PDP to the APC.

It was gathered that the remaining seven members, who decided to remain in the PDP were being encouraged to make overtures to their 33 other colleagues to “return home.”

A source privy to the development said, “This insurgency has slowed down a lot of things. If not, by now, what happened in the Adamawa State House of Assembly would have been replicated in places like Edo, Kano, Kwara and so on but we remain hopeful that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

He further said every measure legally possible would be employed to ensure that the party regained and retained its leadership position, especially in areas considered PDP strongholds prior to the mass defections.

It was gathered that the party intended to use what has been referred to as the “carrot and stick” approach.

This, some have interpreted to mean offers of several perks (carrot) and litigations (stick) where necessary, in order to ensure compliance.

In addition to these measures, state chapters of the party have commenced grass-roots mobilisation to increase its membership.

The Kwara State chairman of the PDP, Mr. Iyiola Oyedepo, told SUNDAY PUNCH that the party had embarked on grass roots sensitisation and mobilisation as part of its strategy to rout the ruling APC from power and have landslide victories in all elections in 2015.

According to him, the party has what it takes to ensure the state returns to the PDP fold, adding that its five cardinal issue-based agenda of education, agriculture, infrastructure, health, people’s empowerment and rural development, would send Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and Senator Bukola Saraki of Kwara State into the opposition.

Oyedepo said, “We will market these agenda to Kwara State residents. We will also carry people along and ensure citizens’ engagement.

“This is what has always been lacking in the politics of our state. Politicians have not always been engaging the people in productive discussion. We will ensure that in this dispensation, people are properly carried along and engaged,” he said.

In Ondo State, the PDP said it had plans to reclaim not less than 75 per cent of seats in the state House of Assembly in 2015.

The Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Ayodele Fadaka, on Friday said although a hurricane blew away some of its members before the last election, the situation was no longer the same.

“You know there was a hurricane that blew some of our members. But the situation is no longer strong and that is the reason for the development in Adamawa State.

“In Ondo State, we are going to see something slightly different. Our plan is to get at least 75 per cent of the seats at the House of Assembly.”

However, the APC said it was not perturbed by what the PDP was plotting to do now or in the future, with respect to the states it controls.

The Interim National Publicity Secretary of the party, Lai Mohammed, in response to inquiries from one of our correspondents via text message, said the party was “not in the least” perturbed about the plot.

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