Barely hours after Senate President Bukola Saraki formally unveiled his plan to contest presidential election, his former All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared his exit as good for the party.
Mr Adams Oshiomhole, APC’s National Chairman, said in Abuja on Thursday that the party had become stronger and more cohesive since Saraki and others defected to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
He said at the party’s 6th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, that Saraki and others who left the APC were migrant politicians who had no political address.
“Our party is stronger, smarter, more cohesive and there is no better evidence than the fact that we have won all the major elections after they left the party.
“We have seen people who go back to their communities to decamp and we see uncommon defectors,” the APC national chairman said.
He, however, noted that while the party leadership made efforts to reconcile genuine aggrieved members, some of those who defected to opposition political parties were determined to leave.
According to Oshiomhole, such persons left the party to pursue their personal ambition which they believed they cannot realise in the APC.
“Though they were not denied the opportunity to try out that ambition, they arrived at the conclusion that the only way they can realise their ambitions was to relocate and they relocated.
“Of course, for a distant observer, he would think that this was a huge blow to our party,” he noted.
Oshiomhole said those who defected from the APC had no political address, because they kept moving from one party to another every season for the purpose of contesting elections.
He further said that such politicians were migrant politicians whose political addresses could not be identified, restating that he would never lose sleep over them.
The APC national chairman stressed that the party’s change agenda meant a move from a political order that services only the political elite at the expense of the poor.
He added that since the change would not allow business as usual, the conservatives had to leave on their own.
According to him, the party has done a lot to reconcile aggrieved members and will continue doing so to ensure peace and unity in all its chapters.
Oshiomhole attributed the party’s electoral victory in Ekiti to the support from President Muhammadu Buhari and the party’s governors.
The APC national chairman specifically thanked President Buhari for supporting the party’s executives, adding that he was indebted to all the party leaders and members.
“We are very proud to say that upon our assumption of office, we have won nearly all the elections that have taken place, particularly the ones at the states, Senatorial and House of Representatives.
“The first task before us was the election in Ekiti and under your leadership, as they say when the righteous rules, the people rejoice.
“The party won the election in Ekiti and your own former Minister who your excellency graciously relieved of his appointment to enable him go back to his state to serve his people, was elected.
“Mr President, you played a huge role in the electioneering campaign leading to that election,” Oshiomhole said.
Saraki formally indicated interest to contest the presidential election in 2019 on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Saraki defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in July along with some senators to join PDP without relinquishing his seat as Senate President.
His continued occupation of the seat of senate president has pitted him with the ruling APC which controls majority in the upper chambers.
Saraki, a former governor from Nigeria north central state of Kwara, made the formal declaration on Thursday at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja , where he said that Nigerians were crying out for succour which he was in best position to give.