The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Borno State got further weakened at the weekend as 31 strong members decamped to the ruling All Peoples Congress, APC.
Those who dumped the PDP were members of the governorship campaign organisation of Mohammed Goni in the 2011 governorship election.
The number of the defected members from PDP has now increased to 63 as 32 leaders of the PDP, consisting 15 state officials and 17 party executives in Hawul local government area of the State, left the party for APC less than two weeks ago.
The 63 persons who have now left PDP on separate days and in three groups claimed that their defection is premised on persuasive governance style of Governor Kashim Shettima, his good management of the Boko Haram crisis and record of achievements in different sectors despite the security situation in the state.
Kabir Wanori, secretary of planning and strategy in Mohammed GoniCampaign Organisation who led the latest group to the Government House at the weekend to announce the defection of 31 members of the organization, said they have since realized that no “true Bornoman has business working for the PDP given the manner in which the PDP led Federal Government showed lackadaisical attitude in assisting the state in the darkest days of the Boko Haraminsurgency.”
The group condemned the gesture from the PDP – led federal government for the comparatively inadequate assistance given toBorno State as a result of Boko Haram insurgency.
“The PDP led Federal Government under President Jonathan gaveBorno a paltry N200 million as relief after giving over N20 billion to Cross River over Bakassi and N3 billion to actors in the Nigerian film industry called Nollywood, whereas Borno’s problem is about life and death as well as destruction of property worth billions of naira,” the group said.
Wanori, accompanied by other key members of the Goni CampaignOrganisation handed over a promotional audio tape with songs composed to spread messages on the efforts of the governor.
Reacting to the development, governor Shettima expressed his appreciation and told the new APC members that they will not be regarded as decampees because they came at the formation level of the APC.
Shettima maintained that the group and the two others before it have equal rights with officials and members of the ANPP, ACN and CPC which merged to form the APC.
He assured them of level playing ground and fair play while calling on them to help his administration in its determination to reinvent the state.