It’s no longer at ease, and the center cannot hold. This is the real description of the mass movement of supporters of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to other political parties.
The development was the aftermath of the emergence of General Muhammadu Buhari as the presidential flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Less than thirty days to February general election, political parties in Nasarawa State have continued to lose grip of its members.
Erstwhile Minister of Information, Labaran Maku’s defection from the PDP to the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) did not come as a surprise following verbal confrontation with the party leadership in the state
Already, mixed reactions have been trailing the defection of Maku to APGA, a party that lacks solid structure in the state. But the defection of the former minister has created a vacuum in the PDP that cannot be filled soon, especially at this electioneering period.
However, the decamping of Maku and his followers to thenew party, according to analysts, is an added advantage to the ruling APC in the state. The PDP has also lost a lot of its members across the state.
In Nasarawa Local Government area, the ruling party welcomed over150 who decamped from the PDP in Udeni Magaji electoral ward. They included the former chairman of PDP in Udeni, Magaji Usman Ogana who was received by the Speaker of Nasarawa Local Government, Paul Ahidjo Inalegwu and the chairman of the party, Ayuba Garba.
In Akwanga Local Government area, the PDP lost one of its governorship aspirants, Senator John Danboyi, who later withdrew from the race. He was among the governorship aspirants before he stepped down to vie for Senate seat representing Nasarawa North but lost at the party primaries to Honorable Philip Gyunka, the current member of Nasarawa State House of Assembly representing Akwanga West.
APC chairman of the area also received another 50 PDP members who decamped to the ruling party. The new members, including Haruna Yakubu were received by the elected local government chairman, Abashiya Mai Kwato and the party chairman, Mikah Magaji.
A former Minister of Labour and Productivity in President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, Hussaini Akwanga, has also joined the APC. This may not be unconnected to the nomination of a grass root mobilizer, Hon. Silas Agara, as running mate to governor Al-Makura.
Also, the campaign co-ordinator of Yusuf Agabi, Isa Muhammed, has jumped ship to the APC.
In Wamba Local Government area, the APC lost its staunch member and former senator representing Nasarawa North, Senator Yusuf Musa Nagogo to the PDM. The embattled Senator had served for over 12 months before he was ousted out of the National Assembly by the sitting Senator, Solomon Ewuga in a legal battle that ended at the apex court. Nagogo decamped to the Progressive Democratic Party (PDD) after tasting the bitter pills of defeat by his opponent, Yahuza Idris at the party primaries.
In Doma Local Government area, no fewer than 3,020 PDP followers dumped the party for APC. The chairman of Doma Local Government area, Henry Omaku said 2,085 that dumped the party at the playground of RCM Trains School, Doma. Another 40 PDP supporters joined the APC in Awe. They included a former member, House of Representatives, Hon. Tanko Zubairu representing Awe, Doma, Keana Federal constituency. Tanko, aka (Tanko Man) was the former chief of staff to the ex-governor. Also, a think-tank of the PDP, he joined the ruling party in the state alongside his supporters. This brings the number of the defectors to 3,040 under the umbrella of APC Solidarity Forum Doma. They were welcomed by the party chairman, Abdullahi Jibrin.
In Obi Local Government area, member, Board of Trustees of the APC, Daniel Ayiwa, welcomed over 50 PDP members to the party. However, the ruling party lost its female politician, Ramoga to the PDM. The defeated House of Assembly contestant lost to Amos Agya at the party primaries. Also, no fewer than 65 Tiv community members in Jenkwe Development area joined the APC.
In Lafia Local Government area, Eggon youths under the auspices of Eggon Youth Progressive Forum from Nasarawa South Senatorial zone gathered at Ibrahim Abacha Youth Centre to shower encomium on the candidature of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura. Leader of the group, Ibrahim Gado affirmed that the Eggons who are having a running battle with the state are solidly behind his 2015 governorship ambition. The political gathering did not witness the defection of a single member to the PDP.
Hon. Muhammed Ahmed Al- Makura, a two-time member of House of Representatives representing Lafia/Obi brought his teeming supporters into the APC while the ruling party lost grip of its chairmanship aspirant in the last Local Government election, Hon. Angulu, to the PDP.
Also, the APC lost 1,006 of its members to the PDP. The state chairman of the PDP, Chief Yunana Iliya, said 1006 were expected join the opposition party.
“We spread our net waiting to get hold of the stronghold of the APC back to the PDP fold”, said Chief Yunana Iliya.
It was also expected that the visit of President Goodluck Jonathan, the presidential candidate of the ruling PDP as well as the campaign rally of the presidential flag bearer of the APC, General Muhammadu Buhari, would attract more defectors to their parties