The ranks of the All Progressives Congress (APC) depleted over the weekend in Kontagora, the hometown of Niger State Governor, Sani Bello, with hundreds of members defecting to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The mass defection trailed the zone’s (Zone C) adoption of Alhaji Mohammed Sani Duba for senatorial election come 2019. The zone comprises of eight local government areas in the state.
The weekend’s defection was one of the first since the APC grabbed power in 2015.
Alhaji Duba contested for a House of Representatives seat in 2015 but lost to the APC candidate. He, however, remained in the PDP after the defeat, a development that culminated in his adoption for the second time at the weekend.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after his adoption, he said the mass movement of APC members to PDP was a sign of his popularity across the zone, adding that the PDP was poised to reclaim the power it lost in the last elections.
He said the gesture also showed that the ruling APC had lost its goodwill which was “symptomatic with the popularity of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This is a sign of the things to come. It is a sign of the growing disaffection with the APC, and above all, it is a statement that power will return to the PDP in 2019,” he claimed.
He denied speculations that Generals Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar were behind his aspiration, saying that the two leaders had always remained neutral in who occupied which position in the state as they were fathers to all.
The Chairman of PDP in Niger North Senatorial District, Yahaya Ability, and the Chairman of Kontagora Elders Forum, Alhaji Abubakar Sule Tukura, accused the ruling APC of not being able to solve the many problems facing the country, adding that PDP would capitalise on APC’s failure to launch itself back to reckoning come 2019.