The People's Democratic Party, PDP and the All Progressives Congress, APC in Ondo State have been in contention following the defection of some lawmakers from the former's camp into the latter's camp, the last of which saw former Deputy Speaker, Fatai Olotu and four others move from PDP.
Altogether, the APC now has 18 members, including the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, and other principal officers while PDP has just 8 members in its fold. While speaking with SUNSHINE HERALD about the defection of 13 lawmakers to APC in the last three months and having majority in the house, the Public Relations Officer, PRO of APC, Mr Omo'ba Abayomi Adesanya said, "It is not about us having majority in the House of Assembly. It is about the people of Ondo state, it is about the legislators themselves.
"The only aspect is that we expect a very good and smooth relationship between the legislative arm of government and the executive arm of government, so that when they work in tandem."
On how to checkmate government in the state, Mr Adesanya stressed that there must be a smooth relationship between the executive and the legislative arms of government, and that did not mean there won't be frictions sometimes but there will be frictions in the interest of the state.
While being sarcastic on the possibility of threat from the PDP, the party's spokesman said:"Do we still have PDP in this country?" while he further emphasized that there would no longer be PDP come 2019.
In his words, "I have said it long time ago, on September 7th 2014 that PDP will cease to exist by 2019, I said it. What happened on September 7, 2014? That was the day Jonathan got his nomination form of the PDP. PDP so made it that they printed only one nomination form for Jonathan, and that was the beginning of the death of PDP in the country. And I remember I made a statement that time that Jonathan's endorsement as sole candidate of the party was a visitation of failure."
He further faulted the nomination of Goodluck Jonathan as the sole candidate of PDP while, according to him, "It is not about Sherrif, it is not about Markafi, PDP died long time ago when PDP gave Jonathan sole presidential ticket without contest in this era of democracy. So PDP is no more, we only have some in the leftover of PDP. There is no PDP anymore".
However, Mr Adesanya insisted that PDP remains the breeding ground for corruption, pointing out, "corruption in Nigeria is like a big tree that has plenty of fruits, and birds are feeding on that big tree. Who are these birds? The PDP! And a good person now says I want to uproot this tree, he brought a bulldozer, he puts it there. He has not even uprooted it at all, but he is still shaking it. What happens to the birds? Everybody flies away. Some will fly away and not return to that place, some will fly away afar and be watching what is happening to see if they could still come back there, so that is PDP, and that is corruption. Because corruption is being uprooted from the country, PDP will cease to exist, because they feed fat on the nation's wealth."
He lamented the rate at which politicians decamp from one party to another but however expressed delight at the hitherto defection of some lawmakers to the APC in Ondo State, saying, "We are okay with them, and we still want them to come together in the interest of our state so that we can move the state forward. Even if they are all within our party, we can still criticize ourselves."
While reacting to these claims, the Director of Media and Publicity of PDP in Ondo State, Mr Ayo Fadaka who described the APC publicity secretary in Ondo state as a comical figure said, "He says so much about things that he has little understanding on, so I don't always deem it serious to respond to whatever he says.
He refuted the claim by the APC spokesman that PDP is dead while he maintained that PDP as a party was not going to die.
While having hope on the May 25 verdict of the Supreme Court to keep 'breathing', Mr Fadaka said, "We diligently await the conclusion of the case at the Supreme Court. When that verdict is delivered, it will certainly dictate the next step we are going to rake as a party."
When asked of the possibility of having more people leave PDP should the court verdict go the other way, Mr Fadaka said, "Let us wait for that development. When it happens, we shall know what to do. Be rest assured that we will remain loyal to our national leaders."
From twenty one down to eight members
Before the governorship election in the state, PDP had 21 members under its umbrella to control the house of assembly while APC had 5 members in the house.
After suffering from defection by lawmakers who sought a greener pasture in APC, the PDP has been reduced to 8 members while APC has 18 members in its fold to constitute the majority of the house.
Reacting to this, Mr Fadaka said, "Well, at the level we are, I must tell you that nothing can shock us any longer, but let me quickly say that if you look at those eight, check their pedigree, check their intellect and their standings, these are people of consequence. I do not see them descending to that level of changing political parties the way anybody change their shirt".
SUNSHINE HERALD recalls that crises have rocked the House of Assembly in recent times which have altogether caused delay in the presentation and passing of the 2107 budget in the state.