The year 2021 witnessed some major defections that shook up the political space ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Naija News reports that these political moves range from the defection of the former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (PDP) to that of former Kaduna Senator, Shehu Sani, who dumped the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) for the PDP.
Other notable defections include that of Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River and his Zamfara colleague, Bello Matawalle. Both governors dumped the opposition PDP for the ruling APC.
Below are some of the major defections recorded in no particular order.
On 16 September 2021, former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode officially dumped the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Fani-Kayode, whose move to the APC did not come as a surprise to many, met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
He was brought to the Villa by the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the APC, and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni and Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State.
According to the former minister, he was led by the Spirit of God in his decision and that he joined the APC to help for the unity of the country.
Fani-Kayode added that he was against anything that would cause the disintegration of Nigeria, adding that he was instrumental in the exit of three PDP governors to the APC.
According to him, the governors he influenced their defection were Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Ben Ayade of Cross River State and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State.
On 29 June 2021, Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle has officially dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The official defection took place in Gusau, the state capital on Tuesday evening at an event attended by some APC governors and chieftains.
The Governor appealed to all stakeholders to join hands with him to move the party and state forward.
Speaking during the defection ceremony, the Zamfara State Governor, “As from today, I Bello Matawallen Maradun, governor of Zamfara State, am happy to announce my defection from the PDP to the APC. As of today, I am a full APC member and leader of APC in Zamfara State.
“I am calling on all APC stakeholders in the state to join hands with me to build the party and move the state forward.”
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on 20 May 2021.
Naija News reports that Ayade revealed his decision in a meeting with six APC governors who visited him at the Government House.
The governors who visited Ayade include the Governors of Kebbi, Imo, Yobe, Plateau, Jigawa and Ekiti State.
On why he was joining the APC, Ayade highlighted the character attributes of President Muhammadu Buhari and the realisation that Cross River needed to be in sync with the party at the centre.
the National Publicity Secretary of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, has returned to mainstream politics.
In a post via his Facebook page on 20 August, the former Chief of Staff to the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, announced that he has joined the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).
Baba-Ahmed stated that he joined the party to work with the former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, to rescue Nigeria from the clutches of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The NEF spokesman added that he decided to join PRP with good intentions and to contribute his quota to the development and progress of the country.
A former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the Social Democratic Party, where he contested the 2019 presidential election.
This development was disclosed by the Chairman of the PDP Caretaker Committee in Cross River State, Effiok Cobham, during a press briefing in Calabar.
Duke is a two-term former Governor of Cross River State between 1999 and 2007.
On 16 September 2021, a former lawmaker representing Kaduna Central in the Senate, Shehu Sani decamped to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Naija News reports that Shehu Sani dumped the Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, for the PDP at a meeting with party executives in Kaduna.
It was gathered that the former lawmaker is planning to contest the Kaduna State governorship election.
Shehu Sani, a former member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, left the ruling party for the PRP after a fallout with Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
Weeks before the November 6 Anambra governorship election, the deputy governor of the state, Dr Nkem Okeke, has officially dumped the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Okeke also met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday. He was led to the President by the APC Caretaker Committee Chairman and Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, and Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma.
A former Presidential candidate and media mogul, Dele Momodu, has officially joined the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement on October 29 made available to Naija News, the publisher of Ovation magazine stated that he joined the PDP to contribute his quota to the growth and development of the nation.
Momodu noted that he joined the PDP in order to help the party win the 2023 presidential election and sweep away the bad policies and practices of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and its government.
Former Adamawa South Senator, Grace Bent, officially dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking during her official defection in July, Senator Bent said she had had enough of the PDP
The lawmaker, who represented Adamawa South between 2007 and 2011 under the PDP, said: “After 21 years in the PDP during when I held vital positions, I have decided, after wide consultations, to move on and to do so with progressive people, hence my decision to come into APC.”
On June 25, The lawmaker representing Delta North in the Senate, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, presented Nawaoboshi to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
Reacting to the Senator’s defection, President Buhari welcomed Nwaoboshi to the APC, saying “you are welcome to the progressives family.’’
Also speaking, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, said that Nwaoboshi’s decision to join the APC clearly shows that the effort of the APC leadership was yielding fruit.
Former Senator Steven Odey has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
An election Appeal Tribunal, in August, had refused his argument that he was duly sponsored by the PDP for the December 5, 2020 by-election in Cross River north.
He was subsequently replaced by Senator Jarigbe A. Jarigbe also of the PDP, after spending barely nine months.
Following his removal by the court, Senator Odey alongside his supporters dumped the PDP.
A former Special Adviser to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo on National Assembly Matters, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, has again dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It would be recalled that in 2017, Ita- Giwa dumped the PDP for the APC, before returning a year later, describing the APC as the home of confusion.
In a statement on June 1, Ita-Giwa said she rejoined the APC to support the vision of governor Ayade to lift the people of Cross River and the state out of perennial poverty.
Former Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, has reportedly dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Daniel was a former presidential campaign manager of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar during the PDP primary election in 2019.
He said his decision to decamp became necessary following his support for Governor Dapo Abiodun, adding that it took a speedy curve with the request of the national caretaker Chairman of the APC to visit him along with three governors.
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