Plateau - The People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau is happy with the defection of Senator Joshua Dariye to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Chairman, Damishi Sango, has said.
The state Deputy Chairman of the party, Amos Gombi, said on Sunday in Jos on behalf of Sango that Plateau PDP was relieved.
NAN reports that Dariye, who represents Plateau Central, defected to APC on the floor of the senate in Abuja on Thursday.
Dariye, a former Governor of Plateau, cited PDP’s crisis at the national level as his reason for defection.
“It is cheering news to us; he was never really been a committed member, and this has often caused a lot of confusion among our members.
“He has always been an enemy from within which is politically very dangerous,’’ the chairman said, adding that Dariye’s defection did not come to PDP as a surprise.
“During electioneering canpaigns last year, he worked against the party in the governorship poll, even after winning the senate seat on its platform.
“When he went to the senate, he never associated with the party and those elected on its platform. His presence was just a setback.
“Traditionally, he is supposed to call a consultative forum and even empower his constituents, but he has not done that.
“Over time, he has always lived in grand deception, so his departure is a breath of fresh air for us,’’ he said.
The chairman said that Plateau PDP refused to give Dariye a waiver to qualify him for the party’s ticket in 2015, as he was then a member of the Labour Party.
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“He had to rush to the national headquarters where the former Chairman, Ahmadu Muazu, offered him the waiver and the senatorial ticket much to the shock of the state chapter.
“His defection has only vindicated our stance then,’’ he said.
He called on the Federal Government to continue the trial of the former governor over alleged diversion of ecological funds for which he was being prosecuted by the EFCC.
“His defection to the ruling party should not affect the trial. President Muhammadu Buhari must insist on justice for the people of Plateau,’’ he said.
However, Representative Timothy Golu (PDP, Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam), has cautioned the party against “assuming or pretending that Dariye is not a force to reckon with’’.
“If we take his departure lightly, it can affect us; this is a wake up call for Plateau PDP to sincerely put its house in order so as to close the gap created by his exit.
“We must go the extra mile to tap available opportunities to compensate for the defection so as to give the APC no gap to tear us apart,’’ he said.
Also reacting, Representative Bitrus Kaze, said that the PDP had lost a “key player’’ .
He described the development as “unfortunate.’’
“This is not a good time for our ailing party to lose any member to APC, especially a key one like Dariye.
“He was a two-time governor and currently a ranking senator; so his influence is never in doubt.
“My plea is that all well-meaning members of the PDP in Plateau must act urgently to end the gale of defections from our fold,’’ he said.