BENIN CITY – The ranks of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State have continued to deplete as a former Majority Leader in the State House of Assembly, Hon.  Frank Okiye, led 20 leaders of the party and hundreds of their supporters to join the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Addressing the leaders of the APC, including the State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Hon Okiye said he was delighted to reunite with his “ideological friend”.
He said: “We have walked into the centre from various directions and I have found out that in life, the only thing that is permanent is change and I have found that the wind of change has taken off. This wind of change has been epitomized and demonstrated in the aggressive approach to liberate our people”.
Okiye said, “It is my pleasure to come out straight to identify with those things that have come from the administration of the Comrade Governor of Edo State, that today, we are now freer than we were. There is no gainsaying that change has taken place in Edo state whether anybody likes it or not.
“The old order has become moribund and monotonous that ideas are no longer generated but here we have a governor that has fire in his bones. He came and believed that there is need for change and there are evidences to demonstrate that this man has a focus and he is aggressively pursuing it.
“It got to a point where people realized that this man has a goal and they are with him fully, and that is the train of change. I want to be part of this change before it get to its destination. I and my leaders that are here have resolved to make our little contribution to this process of change. History will not pardon us if on the road to the destination of the Nigerian project, our names reflected somewhere else”.While receiving the defectors, Comrade Oshiomhole said the addition of Frank Okiye to the APC family will further invigorate the party, saying that the free political environment being enjoyed in the state will continue to give room to the progressive-minded individuals to team up with the party.
He said, “It is my hope that when the political environment is liberalized, people will join parties that reflect their values, not finding yourself in a party because there are no alternatives. When people have alternatives, people of the same ideas will flock together on the same political platform.
“I want to appreciate you for recognizing that the worth of a politician is not only in his eloquence but also in his capacity to connect, to relate and work with your leaders and there is no better proof of that than the fact that today you are here not just by yourself but by your own leaders from your part of the state”.
Oshiomhole said, “When people ask me what do I consider to be my most important contribution to the development of the state, I am quick to say it is the impact we have made in our political environment in Edo State that we are used by God to reorder our environment such that its people cannot be enslaved. So I am happy that working together with others we have liberalized the politics of the state
“The fact that you are not detained, you have the right to move forward if you wish and all of this point to one thing that there is a free political environment where no one man can dictate the tone anymore and that the right of our people to participate in politics is no longer under anybody’s license and that the man who makes it in politics is only the one who connects with his people
“The game has moved away from who you know to who wants you and that if this is all we have accomplished in this state, we have built the political structure on which all other things can be added. So I am happy that you have come and I am very anxious to work with you to re-invigorate our party not only in your local government but across the state”, he stressed.
The Governor used the opportunity to assure the people of Esan North East local government that his government will continue to do more in the area of delivering dividends of democracy and bringing infrastructural development to the people.
Highpoint of the decamping was the presentation of a broom, the symbol of the APC to the defectors by the State APC Chairman, Mr. Anselm Ojezua.