By Olatidoye Akeem
Shonga community in the Edu local government area of Kwara State was agog last week when a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Ndakene defected to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
It was gathered that the supporters of the iconic politician from the community and neighbouring villages trooped out en mass to welcome whom they referred to as a Messiah due to his selfless service and quality style of leadership.
Ndakene is the Federal Commissioner of the National Population Commission (NPC) in Kwara. The atmosphere showed that Ndakene was missed dearly during his sway at PDP and they were happy that the man of the people has returned. The NPC commissioner, who also holds the title of Marafa’n Shonga could not hide his feelings as he waved to appreciate the teeming supporters for the shown love and admiration. The grassroots political mobilizer while addressing his supporters asserted that the need to have a one united Shonga informed his decision to dump PDP for APC.
He explained that his defection was also sequel to the call by the Emir of Shonga, Dr Haliru Ndanusa Yahaya for the need to associate with the ruling party to attract massive development to the community.
He explained that he had a key role to play as a community leader and grassroot politician towards contributing to the success of the All Progressives Congress in the state and the country at large.
According to him, serious minded people like him are needed for the community to enjoy the dividends of democracy both from the federal and state governments.
He said “my defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress was in the interest of my community, the good people of Shonga and Edu local government, who believe in my
“I decamp to associate with the ruling party to bring development to the community.
“I have a key role to play as one of the leaders in the community.
“I play grassroot politics, you can see the mammoth crowd that received and welcomed me from the neighbouring district of Shonga.
“They are supporters and followers from the PDP and APC”, he said.
In confirmation of the claim of the politician, the Emir of Shonga affirmed that Ndakene always belonged to a ruling party and show high commitment to the uplift of his community and the welfare of the people. The monarch described the defection of the community leader to the ruling party as a blessing to the ancient town.
Dr Yahaya said “Marafa Shonga always belong to ruling party. You can see the mammoth crowd that welcomed him.
“He is a seasoned politician that is loved by many. We are glad that he has returned and we want a united political force that would ensure social justice and massive development of our community”.
The Emir Shonga sued for unity, oneness of Shonga and collective efforts of all and sundry to ensure the growth and development of the ancient town.
Also, a Community leader from Faagi and Matawali of Shonga, Alhaji Ibrahim Ilorin and a leader of the APC from Shonga Ward II, Alhaji Mohammed Saba Manuga, said they felt the vacuum created by Ndakene when he was not with them.
He claimed that many of them were uncomfortable being in the party without Ndakene. Meanwhile there is a group that Ndakene’s defection did not go down well with in the APC as it was published by many national dailies.
However, the supporters of the community leader resisted all attempt to frustrate the coming of the political heavyweight. This is evident by the inconclusive end of the meeting held in Shonga Area Office on Wednesday.
The meeting ended in deadlock as loyalists of Ndakene outnumbered those who summoned the meeting.
When the decampee was however contacted to seek his view on the purported rejection of his defection, he simply said “I am notprepared to join issue with anybody.
“However, time shall tell. But I appeal to those are comfortable with his coming to give peace a chance as every individual has a role to play in building a formidable political structure.
“I want to state emphatically that my coming to APC is not to create disunity, but to work for a collective interest of the community and Edu local council at large. Notwithstanding, the foregoing, it is highly imperative and necessary that APC members in Shonga and Edu local council chart a course for
unity to build a virile and formidable structure ahead of future
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