Scores of Labour Party (LP) members in Ekiti defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday at Ado-Ekiti.
The defectors promised to work to ensure victory for the APC’s candidate, Mr Biodun Oyebanji at the June 18 governorship election in the state.
They were led to the APC by the LP chairman in the state, Mr Banji Omotoso, who said the defectors were attracted to the APC by the pedigree, quality, and personality of Oyebanji.
Omotoso said Oyebanji possesses the experience to continue the developmental strides being witnessed in the state currently.
He said they joined the APC having scrutinized all party candidates and believing in the ability of Oyebanji to take governance in the state to a higher pedestal.
Omotoso said Ekiti needs a leader with a wealth of experience, who understands governance and the needs of the people.
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“We need a brilliant person who can work for the development of Ekiti and we have seen that in Oyebanji.
“All LP members are coming together to say it is only Oyebanji that can do it.
“We believe Oyebanji possess the leadership qualities to make Ekiti greater based on his performance as the Secretary to the State Government.
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“I want to charge my members who have just joined our new party to go to our units, wards, local governments and work with APC leaders to achieve victory on June 18,’’ Omotoso said.
The defectors, from all the 16 local government areas of the state were received into the APC by the Chairman, Contact and Mobilisation Committee of the Biodun Oyebanji Campaign Organisation, Chief Olajide Awe.
Addressing the new APC members, Awe assured that they would be accorded the rights and privileges enjoyed by old members.
“We want to reiterate that once you join the APC, you are a bona fide member and you are entitled to all rights and privileges enjoyed by those you met in the party.
“You are free to participate in party activities at the units, wards, local governments and the state levels.
“APC as a party wants continuity in our state and your votes will count in making this to become a reality.
“We want you to continue to mobilise for our party ahead of the June governorship election to ensure victory for Biodun Oyebanji,’’ Awe said.
He also promised that the new members would be incorporated into committees in the campaign organisation and other roles in the APC to give them a sense of belonging.
Other former LP leaders, who spoke included, former Chairman of Ijero Local Government Council, Mr Akinwumi Akinwole and LP’s former State Women Leader, Mrs Olusola Fadahunsi.
Others were former chairmen of Emure add Oye Local Government Councils, Mr Peter Ogunniran and Mr Adeolu Ilesanmi, respectively.
They declared that they had resolved to make a difference in their new party and work hard to ensure its victory at the forthcoming governorship poll.
Among those who joined Awe to receive the defectors were two former Deputy Speakers of Ekiti House of Assembly, Chief Karonwi Oladapo and Chief Taiwo Olatunbosun.
Highpoint of the event was the presentation of brooms, the symbol of the APC to the new entrants.