The wave of defection blowing across the Ondo State House of Assembly continued on Wednesday as five more members of the House dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The five PDP lawmakers are the immediate past Deputy Speaker, Hon. Fatai Olotu (Akoko North East), Hon. Akinyele Fasogbon (Odigbo 2), Hon. Kuti Towase (Akoko South East), Hon. Bimbo Fajolu (Ileoluji/Okeigbo) and Hon. Tuyi Akintimehin (Idanre).
With the defection of the five lawmakers, the APC now has 18 members while PDP has been reduced to eight members, which gives the ruling party the two-third majority needed to make any decision in the House of Assembly.
The defecting lawmakers and their supporters were received into the APC by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu at a colourful ceremony held at the International Event Centre, The Dome, in Akure.
This brings to 13 the number of PDP members of the House of Assembly who have defected to the ruling party since the inauguration of Akeredolu as governor.
One of the former PDP lawmakers, Hon. Abayomi Akinruntan, who also joined APC last month, had reportedly facilitated the decision of more of his colleagues to join the ruling party.
Welcoming the lawmakers into the party, the APC Deputy Chairman in the state, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, congratulated the ex-PDP members for choosing to dump the “sinking PDP ship” for the APC.
Expressing optimism that more PDP lawmakers would still join the APC, Adetimehin assured the new members that the party would give them a level playing ground in the party.
On his own part, Governor Akeredolu praised the courage of the lawmakers for taking the right decision in joining the APC without being induced.
The governor said the step taken by the five lawmakers and their supporters showed their readiness to contribute their own quota to the development of the State.
Akeredolu said he was ready to work with all the members of the House of Assembly towards a warm executive-legislature relationship for the progress of the state.
The governor pleaded with members of the APC and the people of the state to be patient with his administration as things would gradually take shape.
Speaking on behalf of the defectors, Hon. Olotu said he and his colleagues would add value to the APC and would join hands with the governor to move the state forward.
Those present at the event included the Deputy Governor, Hon. Agboola Ajayi; Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Bamidele Oleyeloogun, and party leaders from across the state.