by Dare Lawal
At a dinner on Friday to mark the 61st birthday of the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in Lagos, a member of the PDP Board of Trustees, Kashim Imam, released a bombshell when he announced in the hall that no less than 50 per cent of the current members of the ruling party will defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) once the party is registered.
If there was any doubt that there are strong divisions within the ruling party, those doubts were dispelled when Imam bluntly issued a quit notice to President Jonathan and predicted an APC victory in 2015.
“I am standing here talking as a PDP member, and this is coming from me. APC is set to shake this nation, and they will win the elections,” he said.
Imam paid glowing tributes to Tinubu at the event which held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, saying that no Nigerian politician knew his onion as well as the ACN leader.
“As a senator, he sacrificed himself for another person to be Senate President. He sacrificed everything to ensure Abiola was elected President. Regretfully, the election was annulled.
“In 2003, he called me and sent me to Abuja to tell President Olusegun Obasanjo to forget Lagos in his quest to capture the South West. I left that night and told Obasanjo that we should leave Lagos alone.
“He is an incredible fellow. He is faithful to all his friends to a fault.
“As we celebrate you, my Asiwaju, there is no politician like you. People in the Villa should start packing because APC is coming to take over. I am saying so with all sense of responsibility because 50 per cent of us in the PDP will move and shake this country.”
The roll call at the Tinubu birthday dinner included names like Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and his wife, Abimbola; the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji; the Asojuoba of Lagos, Molade Okoya-Thomas; Senators Mudashiru Husain, Mohammed Ndume, Gbenga Obadara, Olorunnimbe Mamora; Babajide Omomurare and Ganiu Solomon; wife of the Osun State Governor, Alhaja Sherifat Aregbeslola, and Mrs. Remi Agbowu.
Others included Oba Saheed Elegushi; former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Dele Alake; the Managing Director, The Nation Newspapers, Mr. Victor Ifijeh; the Chairman, Editor Board of The Nation Newspapers, Mr. Sam Omatseye; Mrs. Kemi Nelson; former Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Audu; the Chief of Staff to Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and wife; and the National Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.