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Defection: We should be congratulated, says Daniel

Former Ogun Governor Gbenga Daniel
A former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Gbenga Daniel, says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should be congratulated for the gains it made in the upper and lower legislative chambers of the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Daniel, who spoke with newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday, said that the season of politics was in the air again.
Asked of his reaction to the defection of members to the party in the National Assembly, he said, “I think you should congratulate us”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a total of 15 senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday dumped the party and defected to the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
In a letter to the President of the Senate, signed by 14 senators, they indicated their intention to leave the ruling APC for the opposition PDP.
Shortly after reading the letter, Saraki also announced that Sen. Murtala Nyako has also indicated his intention to leave the APC, bringing the total number of defectors to 15.
Thirty six members of the House of Representatives formerly in the fold of the APC also dumped the party and moved to the PDP.
The Representatives in a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, officially announced their defection during plenary on Tuesday.
Daniel, who would not speak much on the defection saying he had yet to get the full details, however said that the more the merrier for the party, which looked forward to regaining power at the centre in 2019.
The former governor, who is also the Director General of the Abubakar Atiku Campaign Organisation, (AACO) in the PDP, said that the former vice president remained well placed to win the presidential ticket of the party.
Daniel said that in Nigeria, the systems are still not strong enough and the nation needs a strong leader who can drive development in the country, which gives Atiku an edge.
Asked of the reported negative stance of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to Atiku’s bid for the presidency over the years and the implication of this, Daniel said that the ex-president could always have a change of mind.
According to him, if the former president backed President Buhari in 2015, he could also change his mind concerning Atiku, depending on the information at his disposal.
“New things emerge and positions change. Maybe OBJ has gotten other information that may make him change his mind. Once upon a time he said that Buhari will not be President but he changed his mind,” he said.
Daniel insisted that Atiku’s pedigree as a private entrepreneur who also has experience in the public sector placed him in good stead in the PDP.
“Those coming with ambition to fly the PDP party ticket are most welcome. Atiku is the beat man for the job. He has not been charged or prosecuted for any crime, 11 years after leaving office, so any allegations against him are mere speculations,” he further said.(NAN)

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