Ugwolawo, the headquarters of Ofu Local Government Area was a beehive of activities throughout today, Saturday, as all the major bigwigs of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, decamped to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
The decampees included the immediate past member of the Kogi State House of Assembly for Ofu Local Government who also was the candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last assembly election, Dr Friday Alih; a former Police Commissioner from the area; PDP treasurer in the area, Hon James Amanabo; former appointees in the immediate past government and 283 others.
The event, which held at the heart of the council’s secretariat attracted party stalwarts, elected and appointed citizens of the area among other sympathisers of the APC.
Speaking at the event, the Local Government Administrator, Hon Hassan Sani Atawodi stressed in his welcome address that the event was not coming as a surprise to him considering the remarkable achievements of Governor Yahaya Bello – led administration in the state.
He said the people of Ofu Local Government and indeed the entire Igalaland have no reason to fail to support the government of Governor Bello, a man that has brought huge development to the council and the state in general.
The administrator assured the leadership of the APC and the state government of their resolve to back the Governor in this month’s APC primary election and during the November governorship polls for the state.
In his own address, Kogi East Vice Chairman of the party, Hon Ahmed Attah said Ofu was one of the strongholds of the late former Governor of the state, Prince Abubakar Audu, boasting that some of those claiming to be foot soldiers or loyalists of the former governor were not as loyal as himself and others because while they had never decamped from anywhere, some of those people were legends in cross carpeting from one party to the other.
He said the party had no reason not to support Governor Bello who has given Igalaland a sense of belonging in his administration, noting that they were recording developmental strides beyond their expectations, even more than they could have achieved under a fellow Igala man.
Speaking, the member representing Idah Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Hon David Zachariah told the APC delegates that this was the time for them to reap of their long term political investment and that Governor Bello was the sure bet for them to realise their dreams.
He said the Governor demonstrated his faith and belief in Late Prince Audu when he wholeheartedly supported him in the last general election despite never having met him after being ordinarily told that he was one of the staunch supporters of late former Governor.
The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon Edward Onoja, while receiving the decampees assured them of the commitment of the APC to equity and justice, saying the party distributes democratic benefits according to work put in and not according to the length of period of party membership.
While further applauding the brave decision of the decampees, Hon Onoja said the party is their home now assuring that its doors would remain open to them any time they came calling.
The Chief of Staff used the occasion to address the youths of the Local Government and the state in general, telling them that the election in November was for them because Governor Yahaya Bello was relatively their contemporary, hence the need for them to back him wholeheartedly.
In their separate remarks, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Hon Muhammed Onogwu; the Kogi East Youth Leader, Hon Alfa Nasiru; the current member of the state House of Assembly for Ofu LGA, Hon Barry Amodu; the state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon Paul Ebije, the party Chairman for the area, Hon Yahaya Shagari and others all highlighted the achievements of the Governor and the need for him to be supported in order to consolidate on his achievements so far.