*Says cross-country consultations want ex-minister to be in party with national spread
*As crisis in PDP appears endless with protracted legal battle
If President Muhammadu Buhari eventually declares his interest to seek re-election in 2019 as supporters and associates across the country have called on him to do, 2019 will likely be between him and others.
This is so as the main opposition in the country, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has further suffered a major political setback with the defection, to governing All Progressives Congress (APC), of former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Sarafa Tunji Isola, who dumped the erstwhile ruling party in Ogun State, on Friday.
Isola, who was also the Secretary to the Ogun State Government from 2003 – 2007, said he was leaving PDP because of the protracted legal battle and factionalisation in the party.
The Baba Adini of Yorubaland was the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of PDP posted to Osun State by Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the party.
The event ushering him into the governing APC was conducted behind closed doors at the MITROS hall in Ibara GRA, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital while the media men were ordered out of the hall.
But in a statement signed by him on Friday in Abeokuta, Alhaji Isola said he took the decision after wide consultation with his followers and associates.
His words: “I am leaving PDP because of the unending legal battle in Ogun State; this leading to protracted crisis in the party. You will recall that the same legal battle was responsible for the failure of the PDP in Ogun State in year 2011 general elections and the electoral defeat of the party in year 2015.
“It is very clear that if you continue to do the same thing, same way, you can’t get a different result. Moreover, an intractable crisis less than one year to general elections will spell doom for the party. Having decided to leave PDP, I embarked on wide consultations across the country, particularly in Ogun Central Senatorial District on the next line of action.
“Across the nation, the general opinion of my associates is that a former minister should play politics in a party with national spread. In addition, all politics is local and the opinion of leaders and various political stakeholders in Ogun Central is to join APC. The reason they adduced is the facelift of Abeokuta, the state capital and the infrastructural development of Ogun State by the APC government led by the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration,” Sarafa Tunji Isola said.