Police arrest 5 APC councillors planning to defect to PDP

Policemen yesterday arrested five of the 100 local government councillors in Ogun allegedly set to defect from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

The five councillors were said to belong to the Ijebu North East  and Odoogbolu local government areas of Ogun State.  The arrested councillors were said to be on their way to a rally ground in Atan, the headquarters of Ijebu North East Local Government Area when the bus they were travelling in was accosted by about eight armed policemen around Ogbogbo.

Our correspondent gathered that no fewer than 100 APC local government councillors across the state had concluded plans to defect to the opposition PDP in their various areas.

They were also said to have already met the PDP leadership in the state and had concluded arrangements on when they would formally defect in each of the 20 local government areas of the state.

The councillors allegedly arrested by the police include Dele Talabi (Ward 6), Rufus Onadega (Ward 2), Rosanwo (Ward 9), and Ajayi (Ward 5).

The name of the fifth councillor said to be from Odoogbolu Local Government could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this story.

The five councillors were alleged to have been arrested on the spot and taken away in the vehicle brought by the police to an unknown destination.

The PDP Chairman in Ijebu North East Local Government, Seun Adesanya confirmed the arrest of the five councillors.

Adesanya said the arrested councillors were billed to defect from the APC to the PDP in the area along with about 100 others.

The Chairman of Mobilisation and Organisation Committee of the PDP in the South West, Prince Buruji Kashamu, in his reaction accused Governor Ibikunle Amosun of allegedly masterminding the arrest of the five councillors.

Kashamu told newsmen in Ijebu Igbo that councillors across the 20 local government areas of the state had become disenchanted with the Amosun administration for allegedly making it impossible for the 20 councils to freely operate and execute their own projects.

The PDP chieftain said the councillors had complained particularly about the Amosun administration’s alleged style of starving them of the necessary funds.

“When they came to us, I asked them the reason for their plan to defect, they told me Amosun was not performing very well. They said that they had been facing a lot of challenges in their local government areas. They said the normal allocation they were supposed to be having was not forthcoming and because of that they had not been able to develop their local government, which is causing a lot of problems between them and their communities,” he said.

Kashamu however, warned that the police should ensure the safety of the arrested councillors.

“I hope nothing happens to those people, I hope they don’t injure them.  Hope they don’t kill them. We call on the police authorities to wade in and release them,” he said.

But the state Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Sola Lawal said the alleged arrest of the five councillors was not true.

Lawal said: “That cannot be true. We are not aware of that.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi said he was not aware of the arrest of the five APC councillors.

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