The tension over unconfirmed reports that Sen. Rashidi Ladoja will lead his supporters out of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), for Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) this weekend, was doused yesterday, when his followers rose from a meeting to confirm their stay in the ADC and their loyalty to the former governor.
All the 49 candidates of the party also affirmed Sen. Olufemi Lanlehin as the party’s governorship candidate in the forthcoming election. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) didn’t recognize Lanlehin while displaying lists of governorship candidates in the state.
Rising from emergency meetings held at the party’s secretariat at Samonda, Ibadan, the state capital, the politicians reaffirmed confidence in the ability of Ladoja; Chief Michael Koleoso; Dr Adebisi Busari; Chief Layiwola Olakojo and Alhaji Fatai Ibikunle to lead the party and its candidates to victory in next year’s election.
Spokespersons for the forum and lawmakers representing Atiba State Constituency, Hon. Gbenga Oyekola and Hon. Segun Olaleye, from Ibadan North II constituency, said the meetings, which were well attended, had in attendance the three Senatorial candidates of the party, Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu (Oyo Central); Senator Soji Akanbi (Oyo South); Chief Bayo Lawal (Oyo North); 14 House of Representatives and 32 House of Assembly candidates.
The lawmakers said the party’s stakeholders were confident that the leaders, with their “enviable political pedigree and time-tested electoral value,” would lead the campaign for the party as soon as INEC lifts the ban of campaign.
Olaleye dispelled insinuation that Ladoja would dump the party, emphasising that the former governor would join forces with other leaders to bring about a pro-people government in the state in 2019.
“When the time for campaign comes and our leaders lead the charge, it will be clear to all that our party will form the next government and our candidates will sweep the polls. ADC is strong in all the zones of the state,” he said.
Olaleye also appealed to the group of 12 aggrieved governorship aspirants in the party to sheath their swords, assuring them that their interest would be taken care of with Sen. Lanlehin as the incoming governor of the state in 2019.
“We are not saying they don’t have reasons to be aggrieved. But we want them to consider the larger interest of the people of the state and the love and the goodwill the party has enjoyed within a short period of time” he said.