The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday suffered a major setback as thousands of its members defected to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara.
The defectors were led by an aggrieved House of Assembly aspirant, Mr Umar Usman, the son of the Emir of Yashikira.
Giving reasons for their defection, Usman decried the high-handedness and impunity in the party.
He condemned the imposition of candidates against local zoning arrangements in the local government.
Also speaking at the event, the Makama Yashikira, Alhaji Adamu Yusuf, said that there was an agreement on the zoning of the legislative seat in the constituency.
“We have a gentleman agreement of power rotation between Okuta and Yashikira that made up our constituency.
“It is now the turn of Yashikira to occupy the Assembly seat, sadly the APC decided to breach the agreement.
“I want to let you understand that an average Batonu man will always stand by his word, that’s why we have decided to leave the APC and pitch our tent with the SDP and there is no going back,” he said.
The state Chairman of SDP, Alhaji Azeez Afolabi, received the defectors in Baruten.
Afolabi led other state working committee members to Kosinski, headquarters of Baruten local council, to receive the new members.
He promised the defectors of a level playing field, stressing that the SDP abhor imposition, high-handedness and cheating.
The chairman told the defectors that fairness, justice and equity were the watchwords of the party.
The defectors in turn promised to erase the memory of APC from the local government after which they did a symbolic burning of the broom, the logo of the APC.
The state APC and ruling government are yet to react to the development.