- Umar Imam, the former speaker of the Kogi state House Assembly, has defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Social Democratic Party (SDP)
- Among the reasons Imam gave for his defecton, he mentioned that he was insulted for not supporting Senator Dino Melaye's recall
- He said that the move came after serious consultation with his supporters in the ruling party
The immediate past speaker of the Kogi House of Assembly, Umar Imam, on Sunday, July 22, defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Imam, stating that had formerly notified the Assembly concerning his move, said that he was shut out of the party by its leadership in Kogi, Nigerian Tribune reports.
He said he defected from the APC because of its continuous internal that friction that has led to its factionalisation nationally.
Briefing journalists on the development in Lokoja, the state capital, Imam revealed his intention to contest the forthcoming by-election into the Lokoja/Kogi federal constituency seat on the platform of the SDP, alleging that the ruling party's present leadership betrayed its pioneers.
The former speaker claimed that all those that worked for the success of the APC in the last general election were shut out by the state government
He further said that as a founding member of the APC and a former speaker of the house, he helped to the stabilisation of the Yahaya Bello-led government which was surrounded with crises because of the circumstances of its emergence.
He added that before deciding to quit the ruling party, he made several efforts at reconciling aggrieved members by meeting the former national chairman of the party, John Odigie-Oyegun and other members of the leadership of the party.
Imam said: “I was vilified for not supporting the recall of senator Dino Melaye, I made my stand known that I was for reconciliation, I spoke for the people, I was attacked and removed for it, those who suffered to build the party were not rewarded.
“There were three national efforts at about Kogi reconciliation but they all failed. I told the newly constituted reconciliation committee that they were behind time and that the committee was not a sincere one, if they are sincere they should go back to Tony Momoh’s committee report”.
However, the former speaker said he delayed on his defection because he hoped that the leadership of the party would inspire full participation its member in its affairs and decision-making process and genuinely unite and reconcile aggrieved persons.
He also said that his defection came after much consultation between himself and his supporters, adding that the SDP is the only united party in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had said the commencement of the recall process of Senator Dino Melaye would be part of the decisions taken at its next meeting on Thursday, March 22.
NAIJ.com gathered that after removing legal restrictions on the recall process, the commission may likely release a revised recall timetable and schedule of activities in the next few days.
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