Reports have it that Senator Rashidi Ladoja has finally made the much speculated exit from the African Democratic Congress (ADC) for Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
It has also been learnt that he has settled for former Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Sharafadeen Alli as ZLP governorship candidate. Alli’s name, Newspeakonline understands, has been sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to meet the commission’s deadline for substitution of candidates.
A former Commissioner of Finance in the Ladoja administration, Waheed Akanbi, had since October emerged the candidate of the ZLP. He was however prevailed upon by Ladoja to make way for Alli, a lawyer and former Chairman, Odu’a Investment Company Ltd, to fly the party’s ticket.
Alli was one of the 12 aggrieved governorship aspirants challenging the manner of emergence of the ADC candidate, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin. The suit is currently before an Abuja Federal High Court.
Ladoja had been backing Lanlehin in ADC, vehemently opposing moves to organise any process that would scheme the aspirant out. The last list of candidates released by INEC did not have Lanlehin as candidate but the ADC leadership had maintained that Lanlehin will fly its flag in 2019.
Even though ADC leaders and members in Oyo state have severally dismissed reports that Ladoja was planning to leave the party, the Ibadan High Chief, last week cast a dark cloud around their claim when he complained that a group within the party, Unity Forum, a breakaway faction of the ruling All Progressive a Congress (APC) had changed ADC’s winning template for the 2019 polls. He had also given the party 48hours to change the name of the governorship running mate of Senator Lanlehin, Mr. Saheed Alaran.
Ladoja had said he had no personal issues with Alaran, who is a former council caretaker chairman from Iseyin, upper area of Oke Ogun. He said his problem is that Alaran on the ballot will affect votes in the area.
Ladoja argued that other local governments in Oke-Ogun will feel cheated and may punish the party owing to the concentration of candidates from Iseyin LGA. He pointed out that Alaran hails from Iseyin, the same local government where the Federal lawmaker in Iseyin/Kajola/Itesiwaju/Iwajowa constituency who got automatic ticket hails from. Candidate for State House of Assembly seat to represent Iseyin/Itesiwaju constituency, also hails from Iseyin.
He stressed that unlike Ibadan which was more cosmopolitan and politically advanced, the affected region and communities vote based on the town a candidate came from.