Barely a week to the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections, two senatorial candidates in Ogun State have dumped their political parties and defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The defectors, Chief Dayo Ogunjebe and Dr (Mrs) Funmilayo Idris of the Action Alliance (AA) and Action Democratic Party (ADP) respectively, were hitherto contesting as senatorial candidates for Ogun East but have now stepped down for the APC candidate, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
The opposition candidates announced their defection on Saturday at a mega rally held by Daniel at the Ijebu-Ode Local Government Secretariat premises, Itoro, Ijebu-Ode to close his campaign for the 2023 polls.
At the event, the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, urged voters to turn out in large numbers for the general elections and exercise their civic responsibilities.
Speaking on why they withdrew from the senatorial race, both Ogunjebe and Idris said they decided to team up with Daniel whom they described as “the best man for the job.”
According to them, the APC senatorial candidate has the capacity, track record, rich experience and other qualities required to effectively represent Ogun East at the National Assembly.
The AA candidate specifically said Daniel remains tested and trusted and should be supported by all well-meaning people.
On her part, the ADP candidate explained that wherever she went for electioneering campaign, she was always told point-blank by voters that only Daniel would have their votes in the election.
Convinced about Daniel’s popularity and extensive acceptability, Idris therefore said she shelved her ambition and decided to mobilise support for the APC senatorial candidate.
Subsequently, both Ogunjebe and Idris, with their supporters, were officially received into the APC by the party’s South West Zonal Woman Leader, Mrs Yetunde Adesanya, who promised the defectors would be integrated and given a sense of belonging.
In his remarks at the event, Tinubu, who was represented by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and former National Legal Adviser of APC, Babatunde Ogala, also canvassed support for Daniel in the coming elections.
He described Daniel as his long time associate who contributed immensely to his emergence as governor of Lagos State in 1999 and subsequently played key roles in governance.
The APC presidential candidate noted that it had become necessary to have trusted, good and reliable hands in the National Assembly to complement the efforts of his administration if elected as president.
“Please, go all out and vote for Otunba Gbenga Daniel to emerge as Senator so that he can become my supporter as he did when I was governor in Lagos,” Tinubu remarked.