Tunde Balogun, Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says the defection of bigwigs from opposition parties to the ruling party in the state is a measure of the growing confidence in APC.
Balogun made the statement on Thursday in Ikeja while formally receiving defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other opposition parties in the state into APC.
Sen. Adeseye Ogunlewe, a former Minister of Works, who had earlier in the year announced his exit from PDP, and his son, Moyosore, were among defectors formally received into APC.
Others received include Mr Mutiu Okunola, a former Organising Secretary of Lagos PDP, Mr Tajudeen Agoro and Mr Rahman Salawe, both PDP chieftains Lagos Island as well as Mr Afeez Akewusola, a chieftain of the Accord Party.
Hundreds of members of the Semiu Kukoyi group in PDP were also received and presented with APC flags at the elaborate reception ceremony.
Balogun said the unceasing movements into the party before and after the 2019 elections meant APC was the only party in the state.
“In recent times, we have been having defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party and other parties into the APC in the state and the reason is clear: the trust in our party is growing.
“And with these defections of bigwigs from PDP and others, it means the only party in the state right now is APC.
“APC is the party for the people, we are the only party with policies and programmes to touch the lives of the people. Lagosians are happy with us and we see more people coming into our fold,” he said.
Balogun said the interventionist strides of Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu since he assumed office in May had endeared his administration and the APC to residents.
He said the governor was working hard to improve infrastructure, solve traffic challenges, address environmental issues and responding to other developmental issues in the state.
“The governor just flagged off the final phase of the Lagos light rail project so that on completion, movement of people and goods could be eased in the state,” he said.
Balogun congratulated the defectors for joining the APC, saying they had made the right decision by joining the party.
He urged them to feel at home while assuring them the party would accord them the same opportunities and privileges of old members.
The APC chairman urged the defectors to do their best to add value to the party to ensure its continual electoral victories in the state.
Speaking, Moyosore said his father, Sen. Ogunlewe, could not attend the reception as he was indisposed.
The young Ogunlewe, who contested the Lagos House Assembly seat (Kosofe 1) in 2015 and 2019 but lost to APC on both occasions, said he and his father were glad to move into APC with hordes of their supporters.
“We are happy to be here; we feel at home, we will do our best to add value to the party and take it to greater heights,” he said.
He thanked the party leadership for giving them the opportunity to join APC, describing the ruling party as the best place to be.
Also speaking, Okunola said he was glad to join the party from the PDP.
He said his movement from Lagos PDP as a former Organising Secretary with his teeming supporters meant the PDP is dead in the state.
“And I will do my best to ensure APC remains the only party not only in the state but also in Nigeria,” he said.
Fuji music act, Abass Obesere, who had earlier defected from PDP to APC, was on the bandstand to entertain party faithful at the reception ceremony.