- Tinubu, Obanikoro, involved
Former governor of Oyo State and governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Adebayo Alao-Akala has finally dropped out of the governorship race and has returned to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Newspeakonline understands.
His return, coming less than eight days to the governorship election, is a huge blow to the alliance plans of oposition parties in the state, which he had been leading.
It was gathered that APC National leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and former Minister of Defence, Musuliu Obanikoro, were instrumental to Alao-Akala’s decision.
While still having meetings with other governorship candidates in the state, Alao-Akala had met with Tinubu and other APC national leaders in Abuja and Lagos during the course of the week.
He is expected to make a statement later today to explain his decision to back out of the governorship race and return to the party he left last year October after failing to secure the party’s governorship ticket.
His decision will undoubtedly leave the ongoing opposition alliance plans weaker since he had been the leader of the talks. On the other hand, it would boost confidence in Adebayo Adelabu’s camp in the APC.
It is now left to be seen if and how Seyi Makinde of the PDP, Sharafadeen Alli of ZLP and Senator Femi Lanlehin of the ADC, will carry on with the aliiance talks of which notable opposition leader and chieftain of the ZLP in the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, is also a part of. If it succeeds, it would make the March 9 governorship election a battle mainly between the APC and the PDP.
Newspeakonline recalls that before the latest development, the Ogbomoso-born politician had vowed that all opposition parties would do anything to end to dislodge the ruling APC in the state.
Alao-Akala’s return confirms a Wednesday report by Newspeakonline that the former governor may eventually see an alliance with the APC as more profitable, considering a similar scenario that played out during the Osun State governorship re-run election last year when Iyiola Omisore of the SDP made a last minute switch to the APC in the middle of talks with the PDP.
A reliable source has also confirmed to Newspeakonline that the APC, with Tinubu at the fore-front, has also reached out to many of the members of the Unity Forum which broke away from the party to join the Action Democratic Congress (ADC) last year. According to the source, many of them are already returning.
Alao-Akala releases statement
In a statement Friday evening, Alao-Akala confirmed that he had decided to work for APC in the governorship election but denied leaving the ADP.
His statement reads:
OYO 2019: I’VE DECIDED TO FORM AN ALLIANCE WITH BAYO ADELABU WHILE ADP STATE HOUSE ASSEMBLY CANDIDATES GO TO THE POLLS WITH MY FULL SUPPORTS
Following the outcome of the just concluded presidential and national assembly elections, I, Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala – the Oyo State 2019 Action Democratic Party (ADP), have decided to form an alliance with the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adebayo Adekola Adelabu ahead of the March 9th Governorship and state House of assembly Elections in the state. However, all the ADP candidates for the House of Assembly seats will go to the elections with my maximum supports.
It is widely known that I initiated alliance talks with the main opposition parties in Oyo State vis-a-vis my great party – the Action Democratic Party ((ADP), the African Democratic Congress (ADC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP). My boss, the former governor of Oyo State and Osi Olubadan, Senator Rashid Adewolu Ladoja is a mediator. Meanwhile, during the alliance process, I received an emergency call from the Presidency. In the meeting with Presidency, I was prevailed upon to work for APC. My response was that I should be given 48hrs to consult with my people, the opposition parties alliance committee as well as the teeming members, the leaders and the stakeholders of my great party, ADP.
On resumption to the alliance meeting, my boss (High Chief Rashid Adewolu Ladoja) told me point blank in the presence of other governorship candidates that I was not in consideration for Governorship due to my place of birth – Ogbomoso. According to him, “we need an Ibadan man to slug it out with another Ibadan man, which is Bayo Adelabu”. With the statement, my geographical place of birth is the only crime I committed.
Since I’ve been unfairly and technically booted out of the alliance talks, I consulted with my party stakeholders and supporters whose supports have brought me this far. Having realised that my 2019 Governorship agenda cannot be realised in isolation based on the present situation, the only option remaining for me is to form an alliance with Mr. Bayo Adelabu of APC.
I remain in ADP and all our candidates for the House of Assembly seats will stand the March 9th Elections with all my support BUT I WILL WORK FOR THE VICTORY OF BAYO ADELABU of APC.
Bayo Adelabu is ready to work with ADP to adopt and implement the core values of our party and my manifesto. The Presidency approached me for an alliance based on our performance and grassroots network not only in Ogbomoso but also in Ibadan, Ibarapa, Oke-Ogun and Oyo.
“Our core values and philosophies as indicated in our ADP manifestos, ‘Rescue Mission Agenda, have been adopted by Bayo Adelabu with Presidency as witness.”
I have therefore as a candidate of ADP, accepted to support Adelabu of APC for victory and therefore form a coalition government. My solemn gratitude goes to our members, state and national leaders of ADP for the ample opportunity given to me to lead and fly the flag of the party. Though, my decision is a very tough one, it is for the progress of Oyo State.