The only Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member in the Lagos State House, Mr Dipo Olorunrinu, Amuwo-Odofin Constituency I, on Monday defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Olorunrinu lost his re-election bid to APC candidate, Mrs Mojisola Alli-Macaulay, in March 9 House of Assembly election with just 278 votes.
He vowed not to challenge the result at the election tribunal.
The lawmaker informed the House of his defection at the plenary through a letter titled: “Letter of Defection from PDP to APC, addressed to the Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa.
The letter was however, read by the Clerk of the Assembly, Mr Azeez Sanni.
The letter read in part: “I have been a young progressive-minded person and I have decided to realign with the APC based on moving trend and party to reckon with taking Lagos State to the next level.
“I will like to appreciate Mr Speaker for his continuous act of service to my constituency. This explains the magnanimity of Mr Speaker.”
Olorunrinu earlier, said that in 2015, there were eight PDP members in the House but seven defected adding that, in all sincerity I made bold to say here that, I have never had any regret.
He said he was happy to still find himself in the midst of great administration.
“Sincerely, I said to myself that continuity as a young man in politics is a necessity. I said to myself that I must join the progressives’ party, which is the APC.
“Permit me to say this in this hallowed chamber that the PDP have been discovered by my humble self, as a party that is not to be reckoned with.
“Not to be reckon with because it is a party that lacks structure, it is a party that lacks visions for Nigeria of tomorrow.
“That’s the more reason why I said to myself that we must start from here and preach the good news of APC. I want to say a very big thank you to Mr Speaker for accepting me,” Olorunrinu said.
He apologised to the Speaker for his late defection.
According to Olorunrinu, he has spoken with his constituents, stakeholders of different cadres on the decision to join the moving train”.
The Speaker welcomed Olorunrinu to APC and commended him for his decision while other APC lawmakers also received the defector into the party.
“I thank you for making the decision at last. We welcome you into our midst as members of APC in the House of Assembly.
“You have always been part of us save the fact that you refused to dump the leaking umbrella but today you have decided, I welcome you on behalf of our party.
“I want to thank you for lending your voice to what have been our position from quite sometime that the best party in Nigeria today is APC.
“So there is nothing to gain from PDP, for realising this, I congratulate you.
“Distinguished colleagues, we are now 40 members of APC. Thank you for joining us,” Obasa said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that eight PDP lawmakers were elected into the 40-member Lagos Assembly in 2015 general elections but seven defected into the ruling party in 2017.
The seven lawmakers that defected from the PDP earlier included the Minority Leader, Mr Akeem Bello (Amuwo Odofin II), Minority Whip, Mrs Mosunmola Sangodara (Surulere II), and Mr Olusola Sokunle (Oshodi/Isolo I).
Others were Mr Jude Idimogu (Oshodi/Isolo II), Mr Dayo Famakinwa (Ajeromi Ifelodun II) Mr Fatai Oluwa (Ajeromi/Ifelodun I) and Mr Victor Akande (Ojo I)
While six of the lawmakers defected on Feb.16, 2017, the seventh, Akande moved on July 10 same year, all citing the achievements of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode and the leadership quality of Obasa.
Five of the seven defectors got the party tickets to return to the House and won their re-election while two, Akeem and Famakinwa could not get the party tickets.
The candidates of APC won the entire 40 seats in the House of Assembly during the 2019 poll, unlike in 2015 general elections when PDP clinched eight seats.