Wife of a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Maryam Ali, has joined the All Progressives Congress.
Mrs. Ali who is married to ex-PDP National Chairman, Senator Ahmadu Ali, renounced her membership of the PDP to declare her allegiance to the APC at a ceremony held at the APC national secretariat, in Abuja on Thursday.
She said the decision to join the APC was borne out of a desire to continue to render services to her people.
Ali said, “I believe I will be doing myself a lot of disservice if I don’t fulfill this burning desire in me. I know also a lot of people will wonder why I have chosen to opt for a political party different from my husband’s. Again, the answer is not farfetched; my family is a unique family, it is a family devoid of religious and ethnic differences.
“You are all aware that Dr. Amadu Ali is a Muslim and I am a passionate Catholic; also Dr. Amadu Ali is from North-Central and I am from the South-South.
“It therefore suffices to say that my becoming an All Progressives Congress member and him being an active member of the Peoples Democratic Party further displays the uniqueness of my family.”
She described her family “as one which symbolises a people who want to serve a nation with oneness, love and peace as the focus.”
In his remarks, the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said he was delighted that what began as rumour had become a reality.
He said, “l have heard news that today was going to happen and l was praying that there should be no change because this is one of those that gave us trouble and she gave the PDP some levels of trouble and they too troubled her.
“But l am glad now that this day has come that you are joining the APC because of your determination to render service to your people and the nation, which means that you have looked around, you have looked at your environment in the PDP and you have decided consciously after deep thought that the best vehicle available today on which platform you can render that service is the APC and l want to congratulate you.
“I congratulate you because you are not somebody who is flippant or somebody who is frivolous but somebody who come from a very serious family background.
“Yes, your husband was the longest serving national chairman of the PDP and it is not as if it is very long ago; it is a very recent past, yet you downplayed the impact of what you are doing on the family and the rest of the people but l cannot but believe that this is something that was discussed; this is something that was argued and this is an argument in which you prevailed and l have a strong feeling that those argument will still be in peoples’ mind.”
Odigie-Oyegun said politicians would continue to defect to the APC in the coming weeks and expressed the hope that what Mrs. Ali had started would eventually become a “family thing.”
Reacting to the development, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege said Mrs. Ali would be an asset to the APC because she was coming with her background as a grassroots politician.
Omo-Agege said in a statement, “The coming of Dr. Maryam Ali and her immense grassroots support base to the All Progressives Congress is, without question, a major strategic achievement for our great party.
“It is a carefully thought out game changer in our reengineering of the grass-roots machinery of the APC in Delta North and Delta State as a whole.
“It is clearly a practical demonstration of our firm belief that true political strength only grows when reputable, courageous and competent leaders join a party.”