No fewer than 2,500 supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) defected to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Tarka Local Government Area of Benue State at the weekend. Tarka is the country home of the leader of the APC in the state and Nigeria’s Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume.
The state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Bemgba Iortyom, in a statement, said the ceremony took place as the State Working Committee (SWC) inaugurated the local government area executive committee of the party in the local government.
“Leader of the defectors, Elder Ahine Anivungu, sounded jubilant as he declared his avowal and that of the thousands of supporters with him to work hard to ensure that PDP emerged victorious in the coming elections in the area”.
Anivungu, according to the statement, regretted that the APC failed to make any positive impact on its supporters despite the fact that the leader of the party in the state hails from the area, stressing that every developmental milestone there was to the credit of the PDP, a situation he said promoted their defection to the PDP.
The state PDP chairman while receiving the defectors, assured them of equal rights, charging them to join hands with others to work for the progress of the party in the area. He said the political reality in Tarka was that; “While PDP enjoys the majority support of the electorate there, APC leaders have always resorted to violence to manipulate elections in their favour”.
He charged the newly inaugurated local government executives, new entrants and members of the party in the area to close ranks and ensure their majority status translated into victory at subsequent elections.