Julius Ishaya Lepes, the first Youth and Sports Development Commissioner and later Communications Commissioner of the current APC-led Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya government, abandoned the APC shortly after he left the government and joined the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP).
The development thus increases the chances for Hon Khamisu Ahmad Mailantarki, the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) gubernatorial candidate in Gombe.
Julius Ishaya Lepes, one of the founding members of the state’s APC, was a grassroots mobilizer who held cabinet positions in the Inuwa Yahaya government before leaving the APC.
The former commissioner, who joined the NNPP after meeting the gubernatorial candidate Khamisu Mailantarki, said he decided to join the NNPP after extensive consultations with followers and enthusiasts across the state.
He pointed out that both the APC and the PDP have failed the people and thus need a breath of fresh air.
He claimed that after joining the PDP, the party leadership excluded him from all party affairs despite being a key stakeholder and former commissioner of the state.
Julius Ishaya Lepes said; “I have wisely consulted my followers, admirers, friends and family who think we should leave PDP and join this party, NNPP and try to save our country from APC neglect and bad governance.”
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Likewise, former Gombe State PDP Chairman Hon Shuaibu Baba Sabulu and thousands of other members of the party, including the party’s main staunch supporters, have switched to the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP).
NNPP gubernatorial candidate and party chairman Khamisu Ahmad Mailantarki and other executives and hundreds of supporters hosted the deportees at the Billiri LGA, including Yila Dankuka, a
Billiri LGA former vice-chairman Phillips Bataliya and Hon Muhammad Balas.
Others include current and former LGA and constituency party officials, former MPs and women’s and youth groups.
Mailantarki received the defectors, assuring them that they would be involved in all party activities, especially now that the election campaign was about to start in earnest.
He urged them to gain more support and advocacy for the party and its candidates in all nooks and crannies of the state, stressing that only through grassroots mobilization and voter sensitization can the NNPP be able to uproot and defeat the failed All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state.
In issuing NNPP membership cards to new members, NNPP state chapter president Maikano Abdullahi assured the defectors of equal opportunity within the party and that the NNPP would always uphold the principles of fairness, fairness and impartiality.
Speaking on behalf of the decampees, Hon. Baba Sabulu said they decided to leave the PDP and join the NNPP because the country needs better leadership and according to him, Mailantarki can provide it.
“We all decided to quit and join the NNPP so we can have better leadership in Gombe State.
“We think Mailantarki is a better replacement for Gombe. He has the character and ability necessary to save Gombe state from the tyranny of APC. He used to always say the right thing and do the right thing,” he said.