A former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, on Saturday in Lagos left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
Obanikoro defected to the APC along with other PDP bigwigs in the state, including a former aide of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Modupe Sasore.
Others are a national officer of the PDP, Jide Damazio, and another PDP chieftain, Kola Balogun.
They were received by chieftains of APC, including the state chairman, Henry Ajomale; Kashim Imam, James Odunbaku as well as the Attorney General of Lagos, Adeniji Kazeem, who represented Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode.
Past and serving members of the National Assembly including Ganiyu Solomon, Gbenga Ashafa and Jide Jimoh were among APC bigwigs present.
“We are happy to receive Obanikoro back in our fold. He was with us when we started the Alliance for Democracy (AD) but he decided to go the other way.
“Thank God he has realised his mistake and he is back. We are indeed happy to get back this big fish, along with others.
“Obanikoro is an asset and he will no doubt add value to our party,’’ he said.
Obanikoro, in his speech, said he was happy to return to the fold of his age-long political associates after his long sojourn in the PDP.
He said he defected because he could not find fulfilment in the PDP and he joined the ruling party because he had a mission to render service on its platform.
“Today, I and others are not just joining the APC for joining sake, we are joining because we are on a mission.
“I had joined the PDP a few years ago with the hope that certain things would be done right to enable me to make the desired impact. That did not happen.
“So, my joining the APC is not by accident. It is to return to my people and seek a platform on which I can render service to my people because leadership is about service and coordination of talents to achieve results.
“We have looked everywhere, and the only party that offers that platform for service delivery is the APC.
“For me, this is not really a defection; it is a homecoming, because, in a way, this is my root. I am happy to return to my people; no place like home,” he said.
“I thank Tinubu for his magnanimity. I am here because he is generous and has a forgiving heart. If it were other leaders, they will say ‘God forbid’.
“He has accepted me back despite all the issues between us, I am grateful to him,” Obanikoro said.
He said the defection meant the PDP was dead as Obanikoro was one of its pillars in the state.