The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Akwa Ibom State, southern Nigeria, has suffered a major blow ahead of the general elections as the party’s 22 aggrieved governorship aspirants otherwise known as G22, have finally defected to the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC.
The Punch reports that they will meet the APC’s presidential candidate, Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, 12 January, 2015.
It was learnt that the 22 governorship aspirants of the PDP in the controversial 8 December, 2014 primary in the state decided to defect from PDP to the APC on Wednesday.
One of the aspirants, who spoke on condition of anonymity with The Punch on Thursday, said their decision was based on the way they were treated by the PDP in the state.
The aspirant also said President Goodluck Jonathan could not find a solution to the crisis.
He said the crisis came to a head on 6 January, 2015 when Jonathan, after scheduling to meet with them, later declined.
The aspirant said: “The President’s last minute decision was said to have been masterminded by a fifth columnist.
“It could be recalled that the (members of) G22 have been in Abuja since 9 December, 2014. Both the party leadership and the President are playing games with them without finding a political solution to the issues and without using the party’s mechanism to redress their complaints.
“This inhuman treatment is only meted out to G22. How could the President, who had met with individuals like Senator (Musiliu) Obanikoro and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume not meet 22 aspirants of the party? Is the President saying that they do not count? Then let us see how the party will win in Akwa Ibom State.”
The 22 aggrieved PDP aspirants had on December 8, 2014 protested against the governorship primary, saying the exercise lacked transparency.
The aspirants had accused the party of using a fake delegates’ list.
They also alleged that the party leadership did not disclose the venue of the primary to other aspirants before the time of the election.