A former governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Alao-Akala, is working for the All Progressives Congress (APC), ahead of next week’s governorship election, and wants his supporters across the state to join him in his latest move.
Akala was, until yesterday, the governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) in the state.
He, however, confirmed last night, that, he has agreed to work for the emergence of APC’s Adebayo Adelabu as the next governor of the state.
Speaking to reporters at his Ibadan residence, Akala said: “I remain in ADP and all our candidates for the House of Assembly seats will stand in the March 9 elections, on the platform of the ADP, with my full support but I will work for the victory of Bayo Adelabu.”
He explained that his alliance with APC was based on the party’s belief that the ADP could perform optimally, and maintain a strong grassroots network not only in Ogbomoso but also in Ibadan, Ibarapa, Oke-Ogun and Oyo.
He said: ”Our core values and philosophies as indicated in our ADP manifesto, ‘Rescue Mission Agenda’ has been adopted by Bayo Adelabu with the 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 the 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.”
Alao-Akala said his decision following the outcome of the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections was based on the outcome of some incidents.
“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) with my boss, the former governor of Oyo State and Osi Olubadan, Senator Rashid Adewolu Ladoja as 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 48 hours to consult with my people, the opposition parties’ alliance committee as well as the teeming members, leaders and the stakeholders of my great party, ADP.
“On resumption of 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 support 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, 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 9 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 support.”
Earlier, yesterday, Akala’s spokesman, Wale Ohu, issued a statement saying: ”After a careful consideration of the results of the last Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives elections and in furtherance of the development, progress and peace of Oyo State, far-reaching decisions have to be taken and actualised.
“The ADP, after holding series of high level consultations across Oyo State after the last general elections, has come to the conclusion that the sanctity, integrity and progress of Oyo State cannot and must not be compromised.
“We have felt the pulse of the people whose support has brought us this far: it is important that we dance when they play the tunes.
“We have given deep thought to the future of this state and have realised, that, not much can be realised in isolation, hence the need to team up with the party that puts the interest of the masses on top of its priority list.
“Looking at the results of the last elections, we have realised the need to restrategise and ensure that Oyo State is not left out in the cold.
“To this effect, the Oyo State ADP and the Akala Campaign Organisation, hereby, call on all our members, teeming supporters and well-wishers across the state to come on board in this move towards positioning our state for better national interest.”
Akala defected to the APC last year, only to join ADP, a few months back.
However, the anti-APC coalition is set to resume talks today as yesterday’s meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), African Democratic Congress (ADC), Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and Social Democratic Party(SDP) lasted barely 90 minutes, after which representatives of the parties agreed to resume their discussions today on what they termed ‘government of unity.’