16th December, 2017
On Saturday, December 16, 2017, all roads led to the historic Mapo Hall in Oja’Aba, Ibadan, where the National Leader of the All Progressive Party, APC, and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, received the former Governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala into the nation’s ruling party.
Alao-Akala, led notable members of his former political party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and his loyalists from Accord Party, AP to the APC. Among the several thousands of PDP and Accord members that decamped to the APC with Alao-Akala were: former Deputy Governor and former Ambassador to Jordan, Taofeek Arapaja; former Secretary to the State Government Ayodele Adigun; former Senate Leader, Senator Teslim Folarin; Segun Odebunmi, representing Ogo Oluwa/Surulere Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives; former member of the House of Representatives, Folake Olunloyo; former Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly; Asimiyu Alarape; former PDP Chairman in the state, Yinka Taiwo, and former local government chairman, Demola Ojo.
Others are four members of Labour Party, LP in Oyo State House of Assembly including: Oladimeji Olawumi and Akande Solomon representing Ogbomosho North and South respectively, and Olagunju Ojo representing Oriire.
Speaking at the occasion, all the APC chieftains said that the mega decampment of the two major opposition parties in the state laid credence to the fact that APC did not have any opposition in the state.
Tinubu said, “Can you now see that there is no opposition for APC in Oyo State? The opposition parties are finished. What is important today is that we now have a clear picture of what will happen in the 2019 election in the state. Today has shown that the electorates will return APC government at the 2019 poll. In the forthcoming election, APC must win. Ogbomosho, Oyo, Ibadan people, you must vote for APC”.
Tinubu noted that the day and the occasion were very significant as it was the birthday of the governor of Oyo state and that it would go down in history as the day opposition ended in Oyo State.
In the same direction, Ondo and Osun State Governors, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said that the only credible party in Nigeria is APC.
Akeredolu said, “We are very sure that there is no opposition party in Oyo State. There is no more PDP and Accord. The two parties are dead”.
Aregbesola said, “I am impressed today. I am impressed with the large turnout of people. The only party that wants the best for the people is APC. The other parties are parties of the thieves, robbers, rogues and exploiters”.
In his speech, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who expressed his joy over the quality of politicians that decamped to APC, tongue lashed his predecessor, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, whom he described as a political pensioner.
He said, “There are two types of pensioners in Oyo State. One is the retired civil servants and the other is the retired politicians. For a serious politician, who wants to continue to work as a politician, you cannot afford to go to the political parties of retired politicians. Aprat from APC, the other parties in the state are moribund and they are ‘Abiku’ parties”.
He warned aspiring governorship aspirants in the state not to make a mistake of not recognizing him as a leader adding, “For those of you who want to be a governor in this state, come and see me. I am the ‘Anobi’ (Prophet), through which you can get to our political god (Tinubu). If you bypass me, you cannot get there”.
The decampees also took turn to speak.
First to call the shot was Alao-Akala who opened his speech by saying, “To God be the Glory”.
He said, “There is no more PDP or Accord Party in Oyo State. Now, Oyo State is APC Party. Our leader, Tinubu, kindly tell the national people that Oyo State is for APC and it is the party that will win the next election starting from the local government to the federal level. Let me say this, I am not boasting, all the big politicians that are decamping today have one time or the other worked under me during my reign as a governor in this state. All my supporters across the state have decamped to APC”.
Lauding Governor Ajimobi, he said, “I salute my Egbon, Governor Ajimobi who is five months older than I. Ajimobi has really worked for the success you are seeing. Myself and my people will support Ajimobi. We will listen to him and we will be loyal to him”.
Also Senator Teslim, who lauded Asiwaju Tinubu and Ajimobi for being good leaders said, “Ajimobi is the leader of politics in Ibadan the same way Baba Adedibu was when he was alive. God made Ajimobi the governor of the state but Ajimobi is not a politician. Recently when I was with him, Ajimobi was telling me how he will establish a farm. Currently, one of the major thing Ajimobi want to do is to establish a farm. He is a business man to the core”.
Honourable Odebunmi, another decampee said, “I am the only politician who was elected to the House of Representatives during the last election but I am saying that it is not a good party. It is only APC that will care for the youth. Before we decided to follow Ajimobi, we did a research and we are convinced with the result we got. We found out that APC is the only party that has plan for this country and for Oyo State”.
Also, Honourable Alarape said, “I am happy to return to APC, a progressive party, where I started from”.
The occasion, which was witnessed by a mammoth crowd, also had in attendance, the wife of the Governor of Oyo State, Florence Ajimobi, the national officers of APC in the South West led by the former Governor of Ekiti State, Engineer Segun Oni, deputy national vice chairman, Pius Akinyelure, other national scribes from the North, and several party loyalists.