A former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, has said he is leaving the Peoples Democratic Party with his supporters to join the Social Democratic Party.
Adeniran also said Prof. Jerry Gana had agreed to join him in the SDP.
Both Adeniran and Gana were members of the Board of Trustees of the PDP before the defection to the SDP.
While Adeniran was a chairmanship candidate in the December 9 national convention of the PDP, Gana was one of his staunch supporters.
Adeniran has refused to identify with the PDP since he lost the election.
Speaking with our correspondent in Abuja on Saturday, Adeniran said he decided to leave the PDP because of impunity and imposition of candidates.
Adeniran said, “I have left the PDP for the SDP with my supporters. I left because there is no internal democracy in the PDP. It may interest you to know that Prof. Jerry Gana has also left the PDP.”
Asked if Gana would fly the presidential ticket of the SDP in 2019 as being speculated, Adeniran said, “Whoever will be the presidential candidate will emerge from our convention.”
On whether he could realise his chairmanship ambition in his new party, Adeniran said he was not nursing such an ambition.
In his reaction, the National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, described the defection of Adeniran as painful.
He said Adeniran remained one the founding fathers of the party, adding that he had expected him to join hands with him and other leaders of the party to rebuild it in order to be able to wrest power from the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Meanwhile, a former Minister of Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe, and a former Chief of Staff to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Mike Oghiadomhe, have denied leaving the PDP.
The spokesperson for Orubebe, Mr. Gbenga Giwa, said in an electronic mail to our correspondent that while Orubebe could not begrudge people for defecting to any party for whatever reasons, the former minister still remained a member of the PDP.
Also, in a statement he personally signed and sent to our correspondent, Oghiadomhe said it was wicked for anyone to associate him with the SDP.
He said, “For the record, l was never part of any group where a decision was made to dump PDP for SDP. To my great party, the PDP and millions of our members, no one has my mandate to determine or link my name to any political party without my written consent.
“Whoever must have affiliated my name to any political party other than the PDP does not have my mandate and this should be regarded as the handiwork of mischief makers. My membership and loyalty are to the PDP alone which is my party of choice since its formation.”
Efforts to get Gana’s reaction to Adeniran’s claim that he had joined the SDP proved abortive. He had yet to reply to a message sent to his mobile as of the time of filing this report.