There are indications that all may not be well in the camp of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Kogi State, following an impending mass defection from the opposition party.
The dust raised by the primary election that produced Engr Musa Wada is yet to settle as more PDP chieftains in the state have expressed their willingness to either defect to the opposition APC or stay within PDP and work against the party.
A PDP chieftain from Kogi West told our correspondent that all is not well with the party, just as he said the controversy that trailed the primary election may have ruined the chances of the party to return to power soon.
According to the chieftain who does not want his name in print because, PDP may have turned the November 16 election to a no contest for the incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello.
He said, “One of the founding fathers of the party in PDP and a former acting governor in the State, Hon. Clarence Olafemi is already gone. In Kogi politics, the fear of the likes of Olafemi is the beginning of wisdom. He was a former Minority Leader if the State Assembly; a former Speaker of the State House of Assembly and a former Acting Governor. For him to openly declare for Bello, it means the PDP is just waiting to collapse completely.
“Alh. Ibrahim Idris is our leader in Kogi State. He was Governor for 9 years and also brought Capt. Idris Wada. The way and manner his son, Abu Ibro was treated during the primary was unfair and an insult on our leader. There is no way PDP can be the same again.
To add to the insults, Sam Aro was made the running mate to a greenhorn. Sam Aro was a former House of Reps members who has lost his last two elections. He is no more a force in Yagba politics. Hon Sunday Karimi is more on ground in Yagba.
“The cream of people behind Abu Ibro are the real PDP people. And right now, they have made up their mind to work against Engr Musa Wada”.
Confirming this, the former acting governor, Clarence Olafemi, said yesterday that his visit at the weekend to Governor Bello was because of impunity in PDP and that he may be dumping the PDP for APC soon.
Speaking at his residence in Lokoja on Sunday, Olafemi noted that PDP has cheated on him several times and he cannot continue to stay in the party.
He noted: “I am one of the strong members of PDP in the state, yet the National Working Committee of the party failed to recognise my input and effort for the party. I was the running mate to Jubril Isah in 2015 governorship primary election of the party but we were later replaced by the party and brought in Captain Idris Wada and Yomi Awoniyi as running mate without any reason.”
“In 2019 general election, I was one of the Senatorial aspirants from Kogi west, I was denied from contesting as the party imposed Senator Dino Melaye who just decamped from APC back to PDP.
“My governorship aspirant in the just concluded primary of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim Idris, was denied of the Governorship ticket of the party by some power to be in the party and gave victory to Engr. Musa Wada because they hate Alhaji Ibrahim Idris the former governor of the state. With all these impunities how do you expect me to continue staying in PDP? I’m not the first person to decamp from one party to another.”
“President Mohammadu Buhari and my mentor Alhaji Abubakar Atiku all decamped from one party to another. Am not going to be the first or the last. I had a fruitful discussion with Governor Yahaya Bello and am very satisfied with the outcome of our meeting.”
Olafemi who was also former speaker Kogi state House of Assembly noted that he will follow due process when he is going to decamp from PDP to APC stressing that he will do it openly and very soon.
Also, shortly after the primary, Engr Wada made moves to reconcile the party, with a visit to Sen Dino Melaye and it was thought to be all peace until Dino Melaye rejected his appointment to head the campaign as Director General.
Sen. Melaye made some disparaging remarks to announce his rejection of the appointment, despite being visited by the National Chairman of the party, predicting a chaotic future for the party.
In Kogi East, virtually all the PDP leaders in the camp of Ibrahim Idris have moved to the APC.
Also, a source close to the candidate of the PDP candidate told our reporter in confidence that the candidate is under pressure from his creditors even as he scouts for funds to prosecute the election.
He said, “I must confess to you that the only hope we have is if Alh. Ibrahim Idris will forgive us and support Engr Wada. Suleiman Idris did his best for us to defeat his brother, Abu Ibro during the primary. But I am aware funds were borrowed to execute the primary.
“Strategically, we targeted the primary election and didn’t bother to visit everywhere in the buildup to the primary. Now, those creditors are making life difficult for us by demanding for their money as things look tight for us.
“Capt Idris Wada has shown great spirit of sportsmanship but he can’t match that with funds. He couldn’t even fund his primary properly. So the only hope we have now is to persuade Alhaji Ibro to support us”.