Scores of Social Democratic Party members in Edo State have defected to the All Progressives Congress ahead of the governorship election scheduled to hold on September 10.
The defectors, who were received by Governor Adams Oshiomhole, include the state leader, Alhaji Usman Shagadi, the 192 ward chairmen of the SDP and the executive members of the party.
Speaking during a campaign rally in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of the state, Shagadi, explained that his decision to join the APC stemmed from the realisation that he was in “a house (SDP) which is not my own.”
He also pledged to work for the victory of the APC governorship candidate, Godwin Obaseki.
“For the past two years, I have stayed in a house which is not my home. I was in a house which is not my home. I have now come to my home.
“I want to announce for the purpose of publication, that henceforth, I drop the name of SDP. I am no more a member of SDP. I have now returned to my party, APC,” Shagadi said.
Oshiomhole described the defection as a welcome development.
He said, “People will not understand why I am happy that Shagadi has returned. It is not only about winning elections. Now, my tenure is coming to an end, for which I give thanks to God. But to have our father (Shagadi) back home to receive his son, when he finishes his work, gives me endless joy in my heart.
“When I look back at the end of my journey, I still remain with my daddy the way we started. That for me, more than anything else, gives joy, so that I will never be accused of being a son whom God elevated and then he forgot his father. That will not be my portion.”
The governor also described the forthcoming election as a “referendum” for the people of the state to choose between “light and darkness,” assuring that Obaseki and his running mate, Philip Shuaibu, would provide quality leadership.