Bankole, Dogara, Ambode, Daniel, Omisore named APC’s Contact/Strategy panel members

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Top defectors to ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday got first major assignment for party.

They include two former of Representatives Speakers Dimeji Bankole and Yakubu Dogara, as well as former Ogun and ex-Osun State Deputy Governor Iyiola Omisore.

They were named yesterday as members of party’s 61-man Contact/Strategy Committee.

Bankole joined the APC about two weeks ago.

The committee will be inaugurated today by the Chairman of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and Yobe Mai Mala Buni.

has Jigawa Abubakar Badru as its Chairman and Dr. Ikechi Emenike as the Secretary.

Also named as members are former governors Akinwunmi Ambode () and Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun).

Though details of the terms of reference of the committee were sketchy last night, party sources told The Nation that the committee is to establish constructive engagement between critical stakeholders at various levels with a view to enhancing confidence in the party.

The party’s Caretaker Committee Secretary, John James Akpanudoedehe, confirmed the development in a statement yesterday in Abuja.

Other members of the committee include Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, 11 governors, former and serving members of the , members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and some party chieftains.

Also, Daniel and Bankole have given reasons for defection to the ruling APC.

They spoke yesterday after a with President Buhari at the State in Abuja.

Buni and Governors Mohammed Badaru (Jigawa) and Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) accompanied the duo to the Presidential Villa for the .

Addressing State Correspondents after the , Buni said he was at the State to present the party members to .

The Yobe State governor said President Buhari was happy with the defectors.

Explaining why he joined the ruling party, Daniel said: “Why APC? There are too many options in the party. One thing is sure: we are going through health and economic challenges. We must do less of political contestations and give support.

“One thing that is for sure is that the entire world is going through challenges that are global, economic and health-related. When you are in a situation like this, as I usually opine, we should do less of partisan contestation. All of us must come together to support whoever is in power.

“What we have decided to do is to come and give our support to so that, jointly, we can continuously navigate the country. That is what is relevant.”

Disabusing the minds of those claiming that APC was trying to create a one-party state by poaching members of other , Daniel said main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was once a ruling party.

“Definitely, in any political environment, whether is multi-party or two-party, there will usually be a majority party and the minority party. So, I don’t think that there’s anything that has happened.”