Olusola Fabiyi and Olalekan Adetayo
President Muhammadu Buhari says he is expecting millions of Nigerians to join the ruling All Progressives Congress in the next few months.
He said the defectors would join the party from all parts of the country.
Buhari said this in a letter he sent to Senator Basheer Mohammed, who recently defected to the party in Kano.
Mohammed’s Personal Assistant on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, posted a copy of the letter dated January 25, 2018, and titled, ‘Re: Declaration for APC,’ on his Twitter handle, @BashirAhmaad.
Buhari’s letter was a response to an earlier one by the senator informing him of his decision to join the ruling party.
The President said he would have loved to attend a welcome reception organised for the federal lawmaker in Kano but for the 30th African Union Summit he was attending in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Buhari’s letter to the senator read, “I was most delighted to receive your letter informing me of your impending decision to formally declare for our great party, the APC.
“Furthermore, I am very encouraged to learn that you are bringing thousands of new supporters into the fold.
“We are expecting millions to join us in the next few months from all parts of the country.
“I would have very much welcomed another opportunity to be in Kano but due to a conflict of engagements; I am due on that day in Addis Ababa for an important African Union meeting which was scheduled months ago.
“I hope I shall have the pleasure of welcoming you to the Presidential Villa in the near future. I wish the event turns out to be a resounding success.”
The letter was personally signed by the President.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Lado and his supporters joined the APC at the Sani Abacha Stadium Kano, on Saturday.
He was received by Deputy National Chairman of the APC, Segun Oni, on behalf of the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
Lado, who represented Kano Central Senatorial District from 2011 to 2015, lost the seat to the immediate past governor of the state, Rabi’u Kwankwaso, in the 2015 general elections.
Reacting, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, faulted the President’s statement. He said the ruling party would soon be empty.
He said many of those relied upon by the President would soon leave the party to join the PDP in a bid to “wrest the country from un-performing “ government.
Secondus told one of our correspondents on Sunday that the President should not be deceived with a defection of one person to his party, adding that the ruling party would soon experience what he described as a “thunderbolt.”
He said, “We wish the President well, but he would soon realise that he is leading a dead party. This is because many of those he feels are with him or in the party are on their way out.
“The party will soon become an empty shell. We are not happy to lose any of our member to his party, but if he thinks that’s enough to guarantee him a re-election, he has missed it.
“Very soon, as soon as we begin our membership drive and mobilisation, he will soon know that the party he is leading would soon become irrelevant in the political calculation of 2019. The thunderbolt that will hit them soon would be unbearable for them.”
Secondus also called on Nigerians and members of the PDP to remain steadfast, saying that “the future is bright because this darkness would soon give way for light.”
Also speaking, the spokesperson for the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said it was unfortunate that the President and his team had yet to come to the reality that Nigerians were tired of them.
He said, “They are not facing the reality yet, and that is unfortunate. Nigerians are tired and sick of the party and this malfunctioning government.
“Where the President will get the millions that would join his party is strange. But there’s nothing wrong in having such a dream anyway.”