The Niger State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state of “recycling defectors to deceive members of the public”.
Chairman of the party in the state, Tanko Beji told newsmen in Minna that those presented by APC recently at a rally as defectors were members who left the PDP immediately the 2015 general elections.
Beji said said that the members were no longer contributing to the party and as such needed to be discarded.
“The APC keeps presenting the same set of people at its rallies; last Saturday, they presented the same people they presented in 2015 and claimed that they were fresh defectors. I find that attitude amusing,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NA N) reports that the APC held a political rally on Saturday in Minna, to receive 34,000 PDP members it said had defected to its fold.
But Beji, while reacting to the claims, told newsmen on Monday in Minna that a vast majority of those presented were not new to the APC.
“Among those presented were Alhaji Muazu Bawa, a former commissioner, Bawa Wuse, a former Attorney-General, Adamu Usman, former Speaker, Niger House of Assembly, and Yusuf Tagwai, former Chief of Staff.
“These people defected immediately after the 2015 elections and were presented at a well-publicized rally.
“It is surprising that more than two years after that rally, the same people are being received in another ceremony.
“You cannot present the same set of people three to four times for the same purpose,” he argued.
He also faulted APC’s claims that 34,000 had defected, saying that those at the rally on Saturday were “far less than 10,000”.
Beji opined that the rally was held to endorse President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Abubakar Bello for re-election in 2019 “and not to welcome defectors because there were none”.
He said that the PDP Deputy Chairman, Alhaji Aminu Yusuf, who was listed among the defectors, was suspended from the party long before he joined the APC, arguing that it was better to have few committed members “than thousands who are moles”.
The chairman said that the PDP recently received defectors in Lavun and Agaie Local Government Areas, but that it did that quietly “without much noise”.
On speculations that former Niger governor, Babangida Aliyu, and the PDP governorship candidate in the 2015, Umar Nasko, were set to join APC, Beji said that the duo were still very strong members of the PDP.
“As I speak, the former governor is currently holding a PDP meeting at his house to debunk that rumour. You can go to his house now and confirm for yourselves,” he said