Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
With the recent defection of Senator Joshua Chibi Dariye, representing Plateau Central zone from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC), the later has boasted that the 2019 election will be a walkover in the state, and particularly in the central zone.
This is even as a Chieftain of the PDP and former member of the National Assembly in the state, Honourable Bitrus Kaze has lamented the defection, describing it unfortunate.
Addressing journalists in Jos, the state secretary of the APC, Alhaji Bashir Musa Sati said, “It is a good development because the likes of Dariye are few in the state and in Nigeria. We are excited to have him come into our fold; by his progressive nature, he shouldn’t be in PDP in the first place, more so that the PDP is ridden with crises on every side.
“We are getting stronger by the day in the state; and I can assure you that 2019 election will be a walkover; as a former governor and now a serving senator, he has electoral value, and he is a grassroots mobilizer.
“Dariye has taken the right step; if you are in a system that keeps deteriorating by the day, what do you do than to leave it and join the progressive group? Dariye was the one that gave victory to the PDP in the Central zone in the 2015 elections; now APC can go and sleep over that zone- it will be a walkover considering his political antecedence and his treasure of experience.”
Meanwhile, Kaze said, “For me, this is not the time for our ailing party to lose any member to the APC, especially not such an important party faithful as Sen Joshua Dariye. He was twice our governor and currently a ranking senator. Although Dariye’s political history may be tainted with several defections, his political influence over time has repeatedly become manifested at critical moments.
However, the state PDP has vowed to challenge the defection, saying Dariye cannot get his mandate on the platform of the PDP only to serve the APC.
Deputy State Chairman of the PDP, Mr Amos Gombi said by leaving the PDP Senator Dariye cannot under the circumstance lawfully and legally retain his seat as a Senator as his action clearly in violates the provision of section 68 (1) (g) of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“If the senator has decamped to APC, he should toe the part of honour and integrity by returning the mandate given him to the PDP.”
Gombi also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately put up a machinery to conduct a fresh election for Dariye’s seat.