National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Saturday said the party will rule the country 32 years unlike the now opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which ruled for just 16 years, declaring that the PDP was dead and buried in Lagos.
This was just as he declared that the APC would come next Saturday sweep the governorship poll in Osun State.
Asiwaju Tinubu made this prediction at the Agege Stadium while welcoming the Chairman, Lagos chapter of PDP, Hon. Moshood Olagoke Salvador, to APC, saying what the gathering, comprising a large number of former members of PDP, who also joined Salvador to move into APC, was a wake keep for the “dead” PDP.
Tinubu, who was represented by Senator Anthony Adefuye, while commending Salvador for taken the action to cross over to APC, describing him and his teeming supporters as genuine PDP members joining the APC camp of recent.
“I must commend you for leaving your former party for APC. We allowed the PDP to rule for 16 years, thus, APC will rule for 32 years. And next week, we will deliver Osun to APC. The train of defection started in Abuja and it was based on those that couldn’t get return ticket started making noise because they weren’t sure of returning and they defected to another party. We have the genuine PDP members that are defecting to our party,” he said.
According to the APC national leader, the first among the genuine PDP chieftains to cross over to APC in recent times was the former Governor Godswill Akpabio, who he attested to his near control of political machinery in Akwa-Ibom State, describing Salvador as the backbone of PDP in Lagos.
“We all know that Salvador is the backbone of PDP in Lagos. But he has left PDP for APC. So by tomorrow, the PDP would have disappeared from the state,” Tinubu declared.
Speaking after being handed over his new party, APC flag, Salvador, while expressing his appreciation to the party leadership, declared that with his moving over to APC, Lagos had now become a one-party state.
“I am here to let you know that Lagos is now a one-party state,” the former PDP chieftain declared, adding: “We have only two political parties in Lagos before now but with my defection and other members, it has shown that we now have one political party in the state.”
The former PDP chairman projected, come 2019 polls, APC would in Lagos State gather over 3million votes at the governorship while it scores over 5million at the presidential, saying this feat alone would part of his own contribution to the success of the party.
“The result of the 2015 election indicated that if scores of APC and PDP were added together, it would amount to over 98 per cent while the other parties scores were insignificant.
“My target is to ensure that APC clinch every post. We will ensure that over 3million votes are scored at the gubernatorial election and over 5million votes are for the president. And that will be my contribution for the party.
On the coming Osun governorship poll, Salvador said: “Lagos State is a pacesetter. Any state in the South-West that refuses to follow APC is only wasting their time. There is no other party in South-West than APC. And I expect that in Osun because next week Saturday, the governorship poll will be held, I am appealing to everyone in Osun not to be the backbencher, they should join the progressives.
“They should ensure that they come out en masse and vote for the APC. That is the party that can deliver the dividends of democracy in that state and South-West.”
Speaking at the event, the state chairman of APC, Alhaji Babatunde Balogun, described the reception as one for brothers and sisters, who had come to realise that, “we are all progressives and we have to work together.”
The APC chairman said people had come to trust and believe in the party, noting that was as a result of the party having made efforts to turn around the state through the leaders that were blessed with vision.
Balogun described Salvador as someone who had always been a progressive, declaring that the former PDP boss and others decided they wanted to swim with the tide.
He, therefore, assured them they would not work in vain for APC as they would reap their efforts.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described Hon. Moshood Salvador’s defection as face-saving, noting that the embattled former chairman had been technically expelled following a vote of no-confidence on him emanating from his presence at a PDP rally where a local government chairman, Niyi Aborishade, was assassinated.
Spokesperson of the party, Mr Taofik Gani, said this in a statement made available to newsmen.
According to the statement, Salvador has only moved out of PDP to APC proactively to avoid his imminent expulsion already concluded, saying he was not a figure that could pose any threat to PDP’s victory, come 2019 elections.
“He has only moved proactively to avoid the imminent expulsion already concluded. He is not a figure that can be any threat to our victory. He did not even emerge as the PDP chairman on merit or as a result of his political clout, rather he enjoyed the benevolence of some leaders of the party in the state, same persons he now malign as ‘undemocratic.’
“His defection will not end with APC, he is ambitious to be a senator or even governor. He said this to many whilst in our party. Our counsel to Hon. Salvador is to get moderately ambitious and less arrogant in decision making. We wish him well,” the party said.