By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Former chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, Alhaji Adebisi Olopoeyan, has officially joined New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
Olopoeyan, who resigned his PDP membership few days ago, was welcomed into the party amid pomp and pageantry by the NNPP leadership, at an event held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Monday.
Speaking, Olopoeyan lambasted Governor Seyi Makinde, describing him as an ingrate.
He noted that several members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and PDP in Oyo State are going to join NNPP.
“A lot of people are still going to join us from APC and PDP. The present governor is an ingrate, that is why God destroyed PDP during his time. The governor said he doesn’t want a godfather, but he has turned himself to a godfather. I have not seen it before where a governor will pick nomination forms himself and start distributing same to people. He has turned his followers to beggars.
“That’s why we are here and the people that own this party, they have money and power. If anybody fight us, we will fight back because we have a government of touts at the moment. We have left the party of poverty. PDP is on the verge of collapsing and if we don’t leave on time, it may collapse on us all, God forbid. God will fight for us and we will come out victorious.
“In 2015, there was no PDP in Oyo State, I started the party from the scratch, and we used it to make Seyi (Makinde) the governor. By the grace of God, we will use this new party to contest the election and emerge victorious at the governorship poll. We will also emerge victorious at the Senate and House of Representatives election by the grace of God.
“It is God that do things, this is our time, their own end has come. Put your mind at rest, we will emerge victorious by the grace of God,” Olopoeyan said.
Also speaking, the governorship candidate of NNPP in Oyo State, Engr. Popoola Olukayode Joshua (POJ), said they left the PDP because the party has lost direction under Governor Seyi Makinde.
“We were in PDP before but because of what is recently going on in, we have to decamp. And now, we are joining a new party, New Nigeria Peoples Party. We have to collect our membership card from our chairmen, and that is why the two of us came here today; to make sure that our chairmen presented our membership card to us. It is the card we came here to collect. So, officials from the national headquarters and zone came here to witness the presentation of the membership card,” Popoola said.
Addressing party supporters at the event, the National Secretary of NNPP, Mr Dipo Olayokun, said what happened on Monday was political realignment.
“Today, the family of NNPP have become bigger, wider and in depth. When you have the calibre of Alhaji Adebisi Olopoeyan joining your political party, it calls for this kind of gathering because we know the caliber of Alhaji Adebisi Olopoeyan in the politics of Ibadan, Oyo State, South West and Nigeria.
“What we are doing today is to announce the rebirth of NNPP and you can see from the gathering; everybody is here and I can say confidently that the nest governor of Oyo State is also here present in our midst. It calls for this kind of gathering and that is why we are here today,” he said.
Olayokun also debunked claims in some quarters that NNPP is going to team up with other political parties to form a coalition before the 2023 general elections.
“Having come this far, there is no way we are going to merge with any other political party, because this party was formed in the year 2000, that is 22 years ago. You will remember that some years back, some political parties were deregistered. There was a time in Nigeria, we had about 91 political parties and they got reduced to 18 and by the grace of God our party was able to survive that tsunami. If we are able to survive that tsunami, how come we are going to merge now that we are firmly on ground. Merge with who? I don’t think there is any party that can take NNPP in Nigeria. So, the idea of merging is not in our dictionary. We have been there and now we are here,” the National Secretary added.
While speaking on behalf of the party’s chairmen in the South West, the chairman of NNPP in Osun State, Mr Tosin Odeyemi, said they have adopted Olopoeyan as the leader of the party in the the zone.
Contributing, one of the party’s leaders from Ekiti State, Tope Aluko, said NNPP knows the worth of Olopoeyan, and that is why the leaders called him to come and join the party.
Olopoeyan and Popoola, who defected alongside thousands of their supporters, were presented with their membership cards by the leaders of NNPP.
Dignitaries at the event include Mr Dipo Olayokun (NNPP National Secretary); Prince Ademola Ayoade (South West Zonal Chairman of NNPP); Dr Tope Aluko; Mr Tunde Oke (NNPP South West Zonal Secretary); Mr Musibau Olayiwola (South West Ex-Officio).
Others are Mr Adesesan Adegbola(the party’s chairman in Oyo State); Tosin Odeyemi(NNPP chairman, Osun State); Soji Olaojo (Oyo State Secretary, NNPP); Oluwayemisi Atanda ( Oyo State women leader) and fomer member, Oyo State House of Assembly, Elder Matthew Abioye among others.