From Tony Osauzo, Benin

Ahead of the September 21 Edo State governorship election, eight former local government chairmen in the state have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), pledging  to work for the party’s victory.  

The former chairmen, who dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the APC are John Osi Akhigbe, former Etsako Central Local Government chairman; Dr. Josie Ogedegbe, Igueben; Frank Ilaboya, Owan West; Andrew Osigwe, Owan East; Napoleon Agbama, Uhunmwonde; Scott Ogbemudia, Ovia North East; Austin Okoibhole, Esan North East, and Mrs. Ruth Osahor, Esan West.

The former chairmen were members of the APC who defected with Governor Godwin Obaseki to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) shortly before the governorship election.  

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They were received into the APC at the Benin residence of the leader of the party, Senator Adams Oshiomhole in company of the party’s governorship candidate, Senator Monday Okpebholo, and his running mate, Dennis Idahosa, and the acting state chairman of the party, Emperor Jaret Tenebe.

“For those who have the obligation to join us in the current project to ensure that through free and transparent election, this great state, the heartbeat of Nigeria returns under the governance of the APC with Okpebholo who’s a distinguished senator that was transparently elected last year as the next governor of this state, and of course, Dennis Idahosa who was elected and re-elected, these are not strangers to ballot boxes; they are products of ballot. And all they need is to spread that influence across the state to re-kickstart the progressive politics of the APC that guided my action when I was governor and continue from where I stopped. I am excited and happy about this today,” Senator Oshiomhole said, while receiving the former chairmen into the APC.

Responding on behalf of the returnees, Ilaboya said: “This is homecoming because I know what you did to me and where I am today is where you put me. So, coming back home is special, and I feel that too for all of us here. We are your children and we want to continue with your vision and for the people driving this project, I can assure you that we are going to work with them to make sure this project is realised in flying colours.”