The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, said on Thursday that he cannot work with the All Progressives Congress (APC) defectors led by Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
He said other members of the party executive committee in Kwara cannot work with the defectors too.
Two senators – Shaaba Lafiagi (Kwara North) and Rafiu Ibrahim (Kwara South) – as well as six members of the House of Representatives from the state were among federal legislators that defected from the APC on Tuesday.
Saraki and the state Governor, AbdulFattah Ahmed, are expected to announce their own defection soon.
Oyedepo, who spoke on the development during a radio programme in Ilorin, said the national leadership of the PDP has set up a committee to interface between his group and the defectors.
He said the first meeting is slated for next week.
The PDP chairman, who said he had just returned from a meeting with PDP leaders in Abuja, blamed the party’s national leadership for being allegedly insensitive to the political configuration in Kwara State and allowed themselves to be swayed by funding capacity of the defectors.
According to him, the option before the leaders is to choose between his group and the one led by Saraki.
He said: “We have not been opportuned to sit down with the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the state governor, Alhaji AbdulFattah Ahmed, even though I’m hearing several rumours that I have met with them and that they have offered me juicy positions. These are all lies, the Senate President despite his humongous wealth, does not have what it takes to buy me. He cannot ever buy me because he cannot buy my integrity. If my bank account is not fat, my integrity account is very fat.
“So they have not met with us but our national body said they have set up a committee to meet with the two sides next week and when that meeting comes up we are going to tell the national that we cannot accept the formula they have put down which is 60:40, 60 percent for a state defecting with the governor and 40 percent for the existing PDP members. And if they said what of 50:50, or 40:60 or 30:70 or even 10:90, we shall not accept; we cannot accept any offer. Anything less than our not working together we cannot accept.
“So we will tell our national body to choose between us and them and I know that they will not choose us because we don’t have money but we are not worried. We will only know that an end has come to our journey and our relationship (in the PDP).
“If we agree to work with them (Saraki) just imagine myself and (Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed) Maigida standing on the same rostrum pledging to do things for the people. It will be a shame; many people will look at me and wonder what has happened. So it is better not to be in politics again. Instead of a dog being the treasurer for the lion it is better for both to part ways and go on their separate hunting game.
“The blame is not from the Saraki camp, the blame is from our national leaders in the PDP. Leadership in Nigeria is the conspiracy of the elite to punish the downtrodden. When they gave us the party, we inherited nothing and so whatever you see in the PDP today is the product of our efforts. For this alone we should not be interested in defecting from our own house but it is better we do so now and look forward to better future for our dear state.”