Thirteen of the 17 local government chairmen elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue state have moved to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This comes three days after Samuel Ortom, governor of the state, joined the PDP.
While announcing his defection at the state government house on Wednesday, Ortom said a crowd of followers were waiting to join him in his new party.
“As I talk to you, 10 out of 17 state lawmakers of the All Progressive Congress are ready to follow me to the new party,” he had said.
A total of 13 local government chairmen and 276 councillors attended the meeting which held at the new banquet hall of the government house in Makurdi, the state capital.
The defectors and their local government areas are Anthony Shawon (Guma), Justina Sorka (Buruku), Mwuese Ubebe (Konshisha), Blessing Unogwo (Ado Ado), Virginia Kpindi (Katsina-Ala) and George Alli (Otukpo).
Others are Comfort Echeoda (Agatu), Francis Ayaga (Gwer west), Uaah Vitalis (Gwer east), Richard Nyajo (Logo), Ibellogo Tor (Tyokaa- Ukum), Adakole Abutu (Ohimini) and Peter Onche (Obi).
The PDP is now the leading party in Benue since it controls two senatorial districts, 22 state constituencies, over 13 local government areas and the governorship seat.
Reacting to the defection of Ortom, Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of APC, who did his best to prevent the governor from leaving, said the new PDP governor joined APC by accident.
Ortom had defected from PDP to APC in the buildup to the 2015 election. He served as a junior minister under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.