After woeful outings in last year’s general elections, the Accord Party and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State have begun merger talks with the aim of forming a new party.
According to a report by the Nation, a reliable source on Wednesday disclosed that several PDP top notch have opened talks with the Accord leadership on the possibility of working together to form a stronger party ahead of future elections.
It was learnt that PDP leaders came to the conclusion that only a merger of strong parties can give the All Progressives Congress (APC) a run for its money.
They were said to have realised that their failure to come together robbed them of victory in last year’s elections.
The source said several PDP leaders have been visiting the Bodija, Ibadan home of Accord leader Rashidi Ladoja in recent times with talks at an advanced stage.
Asked if Accord is ready for the merger, the source, who is an Accord chieftain, said the party was open to the talks because it will strengthen its chances in future elections.
The source said:
“We are working with the PDP now. We are working out the possibility of coming together as one party, and it will be most likely under a new name.
“This is because APC has brought PDP to disrepute given the gale of corruption cases against its members”
The source explained that Accord is willing to merge with PDP because “we have worked together before. We are the same politically.”
The source also revealed that there was every likelihood that Ladoja would emerge as leader of the new party.
“They have been coming to beg Ladoja to join forces with the PDP. So, there is no question on who will be the leader,” it said.
The APC, PDP, Accord, Labour Party (LP) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) were the top five parties in contention in Oyo State last year .
The APC won the governorship election, three senatorial seats and 12 of the 14 House of Representatives seats.
APC’s Governor Abiola Ajimobi polled 327,310 votes. Ladoja trailed him with 254,520 votes while LP’s Adebayo Alao-Akala came third with 184,111 votes.
The PDP candidate, Teslim Folarin and Seyi Makinde of the SDP clinched the fourth and fifth positions.
In the House of Assembly election, the APC won 18 seats, Accord eight and LP six.
Alao-Akala has since joined the APC.
A PDP chieftain, pleading for anonymity, confirmed the news, however pointing out the move was all about bringing Ladoja into the PDP to strengthen the party in the state.
“We are rebuilding the PDP in Oyo State. We are working hard to bring Ladoja back into the fold.
“The name will still be PDP for now. But if any popular arrangement comes in the future that necessitates forming a broad-based new party, we shall consider it.
“But for now, we are PDP. We are just working hard to come together again.”
Source: The Nation