A member of the House of Representatives from Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo/Odigbo Federal Constituency, Mayowa Akinfolarin, tells SUNDAY ABORISADE that he is defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party because of a division caused by the formation of ‘Fresh PDP’
What is the basis for your defection from the PDP to the APC
I am defecting because of a glaring division in the party. Already, a faction that comprises notable members of the party has announced the formation of a parallel party which they called, Fresh PDP. They have opened a secretariat in the Federal Capital Territory and they have made their intention known to members of the public when they addressed a news conference. Those saying that there is no faction or division in the PDP are just misinforming the public because the politicians behind the new faction are former members of the PDP. They are not invisible. They are well known. They can be located.
But the spokesperson for the PDP has said that since there is no parallel executive at both the federal and state levels, the activities of the Fresh PDP promoters are a nullity.
The fact that there is no executive in place at the moment does not make the activities of Fresh PDP’s promoters, a nullity because a temporary management structure will first be in place to midwife the convocation of a national convention where the executive will be properly constituted. There is already a secretariat in place which means that they are already operating as a party. It is established that many people were dissatisfied with the conduct and outcome of the just concluded PDP convention and they have pulled out to form their own parallel PDP. It is only the court of law that can either legalise their action or declare it, a nullity. It is not the job of the PDP spokesperson.
Must they form a parallel party simply because they are dissatisfied with the outcome of an election?
Yes, they have the right to do so because they are also major stakeholders in the party. A group of people, who believe that they are more important than others, cannot just hijack the party and determine who should, or should not be part of the executive. The argument that the promoters of the ‘Fresh PDP’ should have a parallel executive before they can cause a division within the party, does not hold water because their action is a response to the outcome of an election conducted by the main PDP.
Do you think that the decision by some of your colleagues in the House of Representatives to defect from the PDP to the APC was justifiable based on the situation on ground?
Why is their action not justifiable? The main PDP merely condemned the actions of the Fresh PDP promoters. They have been abusing and cursing them in the media. If they know that the action of the factional members was illegal, why haven’t they closed their secretariat, ask the police to arrest the arrowheads or approach the court to declare their action, illegal? The executive of the main PDP know that that the people behind the Fresh PDP are not pushover.
Why can’t the defectors approach the Supreme Court again to determine whether there is a division within the PDP before dumping the party?
There are those who defected before the emergence of the ‘Fresh PDP’. It is just that the letters they submitted to the Speaker was not read until recently. As a person, I am convinced and I strongly believe that there is division in the PDP based on the fact that we now have another national party secretariat, labeled and tagged, ‘Fresh PDP’.
So what action are you taking since you are also dissatisfied with the outcome of the PDP convention?
I am already in the All Progressives Congress. I announced my defection on December 12, four days after the convention was held. It was at a ceremony in my constituency and it was attended by the Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN); his deputy, Agboola Ajayi; commissioners and other top politicians from the state.
When will you carry out your defection on the floor of the House?
I will present my letter (of defection) to the House when we resume from the current Christmas and New Year break. There is a division in the PDP and I cannot continue to deceive myself that all is well with the party.
Don’t you think that your constituents could recall you for dumping the platform upon which they elected you when you haven’t been able to legally justify that there is a division in your party?
The people who formed ‘Fresh PDP’ addressed a news conference on the formation of the party before my defection. So, there is a legal ground to justify my action. The news conference is enough proof to justify that there is a division within the PDP.
Do you think you can survive any recall in case your constituents institute one against you?
Recall from where? Who will recall me? Everybody knows that the PDP is divided. The court is there to interpret the laws and as it stands, I am not afraid of any action which anybody may want to instigate against me. My mind is made up. I am leaving. I can’t stay where there is no peace.
There was a protest on the floor of the House when some of your colleagues defected shortly before the Christmas break. Are you not scared that a similar action could be taken against you too?
Once I get to the House, I will do the needful but I don’t know what the reaction of my colleagues in the PDP will be. I am representing some people and I have their mandate to represent them well.
Do you foresee more defections from PDP to APC, on the floor of the House next year?
I don’t know of others. I know of my own. My people have asked me to move (defect). I can only listen to my constituents and do whatever they ask me to do.