Malachi Coker, the former interim speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, along with majority leader Gbenga Araoyinbo, on Monday defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr. Coker, a member representing Ilaje Constituency II, was formerly a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before crisis broke out in the Assembly over the impeachment of the speaker, Jumoke Akindele.
Mr. Araoyinbo represents Akoko North West Constituency II in the state parliament.
The duo was received by the deputy chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Ade Adetimehin, at the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, in Akure, the state capital.
Thirteen Ondo State Assembly members have now defected to the APC since the Jumoke Akindele scandal.
Speaking, Mr. Coker said they decided to join the ruling APC after consulting widely with the members of their constituencies in their respective areas.
He claimed that the “transformational” work of the Rotimi Akeredolu led administration in the state persuaded him and his colleague, Mr. Araoyinbo, to join the ruling APC.
On his part, Mr. Araoyinbo denied rumors that the current division in the crisis-ridden PDP both at the state and national levels forced them to leave the party.
“The need to join the ruling party (APC) became important as it would afford us the opportunity to bring dividends of democracy to our constituencies,” he said.
Receiving the defectors, Mr. Adetemehin asked the two lawmakers to propagate the image of the party in a good light.
He said the leadership of the party was prepared to receive more defectors willing to join the ruling party in the state.