A former Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Yomi Awoniyi, has formally joined the All Progressives Congress before the state’s governorship election on November 11.
Awoniyi was officially welcomed into the party on Tuesday in Abuja, where he expressed his respect for Governor Yahaya Bello’s excellent leadership, dedication to inclusivity, unity of purpose, and governance.
From 2011 to 2015, he held the position of Deputy Governor of Kogi State under Captain Idris Wada’s leadership.
The former People’s Democratic Party leader recognised the difficulties and intricacies of Kogi State politics and praised Governor Bello for going above and beyond expectations.
He said, “I served as the Deputy Governor of Kogi State between 2011 and 2015. I know the state well, and the current governor has done exceptionally well in leadership and governance. His humility is unmatched, and his ability to unite the people is remarkable.
“These qualities are reasons I decided to join the APC and support him and the incoming administration.”
While welcoming Awoniyi, whom he described as a “big fish”, Governor Yahaya Bello said his decision to join the APC was significant.
He stressed that Awoniyi’s move clearly demonstrated the people’s satisfaction with his achievements and their willingness to support his leadership for the state’s success.
“I am pleased to welcome the former Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Arc Abayomi Awoniyi, into our party today.
“Awoniyi is a prominent figure who has just joined a significant movement. I am delighted with his decision to join our party, and I can assure you that the APC will do more for the people of our state,” the governor stated.
The party’s National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, commended Awoniyi’s decision to join the APC.
He cited the governor’s successes and his capacity to bring people together for societal advancement as evidence of the governor’s success and the influx of defections from opposition parties to the APC in Kogi State under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello.
Ganduje offered Awoniyi and others who had joined or intended to join the APC equal opportunity he promised them.
As the Kogi State governorship election draws near, there has been a surge in the number of opposition party members joining the ruling party. In recent years, many former senators, members of the House of Representatives and party chairmen have joined the APC.
The crisis rocking the Kogi State chapter of the PDP took a new twist last week as Awoniyi officially dumped the party.
He said he was leaving the party after 25 unbroken years of loyal and dedicated membership and service.
Awoniyi, who served as deputy to former Governor Idris Wada, conveyed his resignation in a letter addressed to the PDP chairman in Mopamuro local government area of Kogi State, dated August 31, 2023.
Though he did not officially indicate his next line of action, and did not give specific reasons for his exit from the PDP, his resignation was not unconnected with his dissatisfaction with the last governorship primary of the party, an exercise he termed a “farce”.
There were also strong indications that he might join the APC soon.
The letter, titled, “Letter of Resignation from the People’s Democratic Party” read, “I hereby write to tender my letter of resignation from the People’s Democratic Party after 25 unbroken years of loyal and dedicated membership and service.
“With this resignation, I cease to be a member of the PDP. Kindly convey my sincere gratitude to the party faithful in Mopamuro LGA, Kogi West Senatorial District, and indeed the entire state, through your fellow LGA Party chairmen, for their support and camaraderie, over the years.
“I look forward to our continued friendship despite no longer being members of the same political party,” he stated.
Awoniyi who was the Director General of Atiku/Okowa campaign council in Kogi State was one of the aspirants that expressed displeasure over the conduct of the PDP governorship primary.