A two- time governorship candidate in Ogun state, Otunba Rotimi Paseda on Monday defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress and registered as a member of the ruling party in the state.
He explained that the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun and the immediate past governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun were aware of his action before he actualised it.
Recall Paseda contested for the governorship of the state on the platforms of the Unity Party of Nigeria and the Social Democratic Party in 2015 and 2019 elections respectively.
However on Monday Paseda defected to the APC when he registered at his Ward 14, St. Paul Polling Unit 3, in Itale, Omu-Ijebu under Odogbolu Local Government Area of the state.
He was registered by the ward party chairman, Mrs Osunsanya Idowu.
The business tycoon cum politician told journalists shortly after his registration that his decision to join the progressives was informed by his followers’ agitation and his resolved to serve the people at any level.
Paseda said as a true Awoist, the party’s philosophy and ideologies aligned with his objectives as a seasoned politician.
He added that governor Dapo Abiodun and Senator Ibikunle Amosun were duly informed about his defection, promising to work for the progress of the party ahead of 2023.
He said, “I’ve always been committed to serve my state, my country and my people, so I have to go to where my people want me to go.
“They’ve been clamouring and urging me to join APC. Most of them have gone ahead of me. So, I’m crossing over now to APC because that’s what my people want me to do. And as it stands, I still have to consult my people on my aspiration because I cannot do it without their consent.
“Governor Abiodun cannot be upset with my defection to APC. He knows my pedigree and the kind of person I am. He’s force to be reckoned with in the party. He’s the Governor and the party leader, before I joined the party, I spoke with him about it and I also spoke with the ex-governor Ibikunle Amosun.
“But one thing that is sure is that, I’m 100% committed to serve my country, my state and my people. I’ve always been an Awoist and APC is fashioned in tune with his ideology. There’s no party that will give me 100% of what I want.”
Speaking on the clamour to zone the presidency to the South, the ex-UPN governorship candidate said it would be a welcome idea, calling on other parties to zone the presidency ticket to the South.
“The zoning idea of the presidency to the south is fantastic. I hope all other parties did the same thing. I have been supporting south west presidency. I might decide to try my luck to come out for the President, I’m committed to APC and I’m ready to work for the party.”
Meanwhile, the Ward Chairman, Mrs Osunsanya Idowu described Paseda’s defection as a major turning point in the ward, and the party at large.
She said with Paseda’s presence to the party at the local government, the party would become unbeatable in the next political dispension, while calling on other oppositions to join the progressives and the winning team.