BY ALO ABIOLA, ADO-EKITI
Following his suspension from the Ekiti State House of Assembly, the embattled lawmaker representing Ikole Constituency 1, Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan yesterday dumped the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking at the event held at Ward 7 in Ikole Local Government Area, Aribisogan who defected with about 200 other party members to APC hinged his action on the factionalisation and division of the state chapter of the PDP which, according to him, has made his stay in the party “extremely difficult.”
The defection, which was the first in the assembly since Governor Ayo Fayose returned to power in October 2014, saw the lawmaker who has been having a running battle with Fayose, being received into party by the state APC executive council led by the Deputy Chairman, Mrs. Kemisola Olaleye.
Aribisogan who vowed to ensure that “all efforts to silence the opposition voice from Ekiti political space is resisted” because democracy allows for objective criticisms and separation of powers which is the principle of the rule of law said he took the decision to join APC after due consultation with his constituents and pursuant to Section 109, sub-section 1(g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999
Addressing the people, Aribisogan said he joined the APC because the party has shown to Nigerians that it is capable of allowing freedom of speech, god governance and protection of collective interest of all Nigerians.
Aribisogan said: “Democracy is all about good governance, service delivery, community and state interest. A situation where a political party like PDP is dangling precariously between survival and extinction could no longer provide enabling political environment to provide good governance and political engineering.
“Therefore as a representative of my people, I have no option than to go along with them by moving to a party that will continue to protect their collective interest.
“I want to assure my supporters and my new political party of my absolute commitment and loyalty in pursuance of the party’s set objectives and goals. I pledge to be a true party man who will join hands with the progressives to remove the albatross called PDP from Ekiti State political space in the coming days.”
The state chapter of the PDP is polarised into two factions. Williams Ajayi-led faction is loyal to the National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff while the other faction loyal to the National Caretaker Committee Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi which enjoys Fayose’s support is chaired by Gboyega Oguntuase.
He was suspended by his colleagues for 180 legislative days on October 6 last year for allegedly holding meetings with the Senator representing Ogun East in the National Assembly, Buruji Kashamu, and others perceived to be “political enemies” of Fayose. But Aribisogan denied the allegations.
As the crisis lingered, a five-man disciplinary panel was last week set up by the Oguntuase-led faction to try Aribisogan but the lawmaker shunned the sitting of the panel claiming that the panelists have been commissioned to do a hatchet job.