By Toby Prince
The Director General of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign organisation in Gombe State Bala Bello Tinka has defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
This was revealed by an aide of President Muhammadu Buhari Femi Adesina on Friday.
“Coming exactly a fortnight to the presidential election, the defection of Alhaji Tinka deals a massive blow to the PDP in Gombe. PDP currently governs the state, and has done so since 2003,” Mr Adeshina said in a statement.
“President Muhammadu Buhari campaigns in Gombe Saturday and Alhaji Tinka is expected to formally join the APC, alongside others, during the event.” he added.
Adesina said Tinka met with the president on Thursday night at the State House, Abuja, and pledged allegiance to the ruling party.
Tinka, a top businessman in the state and a close ally of Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo, bidded for the opposition party’s gubernatorial ticket but was unsuccessful.
But the PDP said Tinka was expelled from the party.
The party’s State’s Chairman, Joel Jagafar stated in a statement on Saturday that the former DG breached the party’s code of conduct by emerging the Governorship candidate of Democratic People’s Party (DPP)in the Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC) 2019 general election list of candidates.
“The subject list has number 29, Alhaji Bala Bello Tinka as Governorship candidate of Democratic People’s Party (DPP) whom hitherto was the Director-General of the 2019 Gombe state campaign of the party,”Jagafar said.
“This is a breach of section 10(1) and 58(1) of the People’s Democratic Party constitution (2017 as amended). In view of the foregoing, Alhaji Bala Bello has been relieved of his appointment as Director-General of the 2019 campaign with immediate effect”.
Meanwhile in January 2018 the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detained Tinka for channeling illegal funds for PDP 2015 campaign.