…Ladoja meets Obasanjo over planned defection to ADC
Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Oyo State chapter, has urged a former governor of the state, Adebayo Alao-Akala, to return to PDP.
The move to bring Alao-Akala back to PDP from the All Progressives Congress (APC), coincided with a crucial meeting held by another former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, with former president Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Wednesday over his proposed defection from PDP to African Democratic Alliance (ADC), this week.
Ladoja was said to have been accompanied to the meeting by 16 out of the 32 members of Oyo State House of Assembly, including Busari Adebisi of the APC Unity Forum, Sarafadeen Alli and some other gladiators.
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The meeting was said to have set up a nine-member caretaker committee that would conduct ward, local government and state congresses for ADC in the state.
Femi Majekodunmi was appointed chairman of the committee while Dele Ajadi was appointed secretary of the committee, which is expected to be inaugurated today.
When Ladoja served as a governor between 2003 and 2007, Alao-Akala was his deputy on the platform of PDP and the same Alao-Akala became governor on PDP platform in 2007 and administered the state till 2011.
Ladoja left PDP for Accord in 2010 and contested the governorship polls in the state in 2011 and 2015 on the platform of Accord but lost on the two occasions. He left Accord for PDP in 2017 and he has been in a battle for the soul of PDP with Makinde since November 2017 when a parallel congress was held in the state. The fallout of the battle, according to sources has made Ladoja to conclude arrangements to move to ADC.
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Makinde, who left PDP for Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 2014 on which platform he contested 2015 governorship poll, also returned to PDP in 2017. As gathered, he seems to be the favoured aspirant to get the governorship ticket of PDP in 2019.
Efforts by the national working committee of PDP to harmonise the parties between the camps of Ladoja and Makinde failed as Ladoja’s loyalist, who was a state secretary of the party, Wasii Emiola, was replaced with Makinde’s loyalist, Wasiu Adeleke. The action, as gathered, didn’t go down well with Ladoja.
But, in the early hours of Wednesday, Makinde visited Alao-Akala and held a nocturnal meeting with him in order to bring him back to PDP. The visit was confirmed by Head, New Media and Public Affairs, Akala Campaign Organisation, Jeremiah Akande, in a statement he issued in Ibadan on Wednesday.
“Today, Otunba Alao-Akala received in audience two chieftains of PDP in the person of Seyi Makinde and Bisi Olopeniyan at his Awosika residence in Ibadan.
“The main crux of the visit was to intimate Alao-Akala of the leadership vacuum that has existed within the rank of the PDP in Oyo State with the exit of Ladoja from the party and to once again invite Alao-Akala to come and lead the party with his wealth of experience.
“The duo also brought good tidings from the national leadership of the POP and expressed the readiness of the National Working Committee of the PDP to work with Alao-Akala.”