By Jeremiah Oke, Ibadan
The common saying that “there is no permanent enemy in politics” is playing out in as political foes are forging alliance under the African Democratic Congress (ADC) to battle with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State.
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Oyo 2019: Political heavyweights regroup under Obasanjo’s ADC to unseat APC
The alliance, which is code-named ‘biggest coalition in Oyo’ as the 2019 elections approach, includes the breakaway factions from the ruling APC, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and 16 serving members of the State House of Assembly led by the Deputy Speaker, Wasiu Musa. They came together to work ahead of next general elections.
Notable politicians in the fold are former governor of the state, who was until recently a PDP leader in the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja; two former deputy governors, Hammed Gbadamosi and Taofeek Arapaja and five former Secretaries to the State Government, Dr. Busari Adebisi, Chief Michael Koleoso, Chief Sarafadeen Abiodun Alli, Chief Olayiwola Olakojo and Mr. Dele Adigun.
Others are the serving senator, Monsurat Sunmonu; son of the former governor of the state and a member of House of Representatives, Hon. Dapo Lam Adesina, former senators Gbenga Babalola and Olufemi Lanlehin, some serving PDP state executives, a PDP national officer, Yetunde Ajibola, a former Commissioner for Works, Dr. Yunus Akintunde; Asiwaju Yemi Aderibigbe; state chairman of Labour Party, Gbenga Olayemi; Gbenga Adewusi; Bamidele Ojo and Akeem Olatunji.
Analysts say with the presence of the foremost political leader from Oke-Ogun area of the state, Chief Michael Koleoso and former governor of Oyo State, Ladoja who never lose grip of Ibadan land’s political space which contributes 55 per cent of total votes, the ruling party may need to work very hard to retain the state.
At the inauguration of the interim committee were the ADC National Chairman, Chief Ralph Nwosu, National Legal Adviser, Peter Oyewole and National Treasurer, Pa Kamil Lagatua.
Others are Dr. Dele Ajadi who will serve as secretary; Dr. Nureni Adeniran; Alhaja Mulikat Akintola, Mr. Wole Oladokun, Mr. Wale Olatunji; Hon. Fatai Salam; Mr. Wale Olagoke and Alhaji Ganiyu Alade.
The ADC steering committee included Chief Femi Majekodunmi, an indigene of Ogun State and a close ally to former president Olusegun Obasanjo who would serve as chairman. Nwosu, while speaking, charged the members to work for the success of the party in the 2019 general elections. He said the party was expecting thirteen state governors before the end of 2018.
A close associate of former president Obasanjo, Layiwola Olakojo, recently told newsmen at the inauguration of caretaker committee, led by a former associate of the state governor, Wasiu Olatunbosun in Ibadan, that the primary objective of the leaders of the party was to ensure it takes power from the ruling APC in Oyo State and the nation at large come 2019.
Olakojo said, “ADC has come to stay in Oyo State. Our immediate task is working towards actualization of our dreams to form the next government in the state and Nigeria as a whole.
“The process for the nomination of a joint presidential candidate among all the 34 political parties against the incumbent president is on and we are optimistic it will work for the greater unity and development of Nigeria.”
Speaking on why the party must not allow APC to return to Agodi government house, an ADC leader, Dr. Busari Adebisi said, “since the former Governor Lam Adesina’s death, the progressives party as represented by the APC has gone down ideologically and we are just trying to revive the progressives instincts we are known for. The core values we are known for and the original ideological base of the progressives have been eroded under the APC.
“Ibadan, Oyo state was the hub of the south west progressive politics. Our politics no more wears human faces. We will bring those good old days back in the ADC. The era of internal democracy will be back in ADC. The APC unity forum had coalesced with other like minds to drive ADC for the electoral success ahead,” Adebisi added.
A source close to the leadership of the new party told Daily Trust that in order to avoid post primaries crisis, the leadership of the party had zoned the governorship to Ibadan and the PDP to present a candidate, while the deputy governorship slot goes to Oke-Ogun.
The source said, “our leadership has given the governorship slot to Ladoja, while Chief Micheal Koleosho will present his running mate. As at today, two people who are loyalists of Chief Ladoja, are in the race. Sarafadeen Alli and Senator Olufemi Lanleyin are the two people we are looking up to. The third person, who is also struggling with them, is Yunus Akintunde. But I understand the party will compensate him later.
“Akintunde’s ticket may not fly because of the Ibadan sentiments. But all I know is that we are going to win in 2019 by God’s grace. We have grassroots politicians in our party. We have the resources to tackle any party. We are the most popular party in Oyo State today.”
One of the aspirants, Barrister Sarafadeen Alli, told our reporter that all the zones had agreed to work together on the platform of the ADC to claim power from the ruling APC.
Alli said, “All power belongs to God and He alone enthrones who He so wishes. The ADC has provided us with a great platform to wrestle power from the ruling party. And with the kind of leaders we have in Senator Ladoja; Chief Koleosho; Dr Adebisi; Chief Layiwola Olakojo, Alhaji Alli Oyedeji and their likes, we are confident of outright victory across all levels.
“For now, Ibadan, Ibarapa, Oyo and Oke-Ogun have fully integrated and embraced the ADC. Ditto the remaining geo-political zone of Ogbomoso and I can tell you that we are working round the clock to increase our presence there too.
“As an aspirant, I owe our leaders in high esteem ditto the party members across all levels. We are not leaving any stone unturned and we are hopeful that God on our side, the victory is certain.
“I wish to appeal to the good people of Oyo State to endure the little time remaining within which the ruling APC will be sacked from office. We know where shoe pinches them and the ADC as a party for the youth, women and indeed all strata of the society, we will deliver on our campaign promises.
“The level of poverty, unemployment and lack of faithful implementation of the electoral promises made to the people by the APC is making the game more encouraging to us in the ADC. What’s more than to ask them to keep faith with us and get their PVCs ready as we coast along to the general election.”
Apart from Ladoja, who is popular among the three governorship aspirants on the platform of Obasanjo’s ADC, a brief profile of the two others are provided below.
Senator Olufemi Lanleyin
He is a lawyer. His father, late Samuel People Lanleyin was a member of the western Region House of Assembly between 1950 and 1954.
Femi Lanleyin joined the Social Democratic Party in 1987 and ran for election successfully on its platform into the House of Representatives, representing Ikeja Federal Constituency of Lagos State in 1992.
In 1998, Senator Lanleyin joined Alliance for Democracy (AD) and became its Lagos State Legal Adviser.
He was appointed as a commissioner for special duties and special adviser to the former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 1999.
He was elected into the Senate in April 2011. He is also running to succeed the governor of the state.
Barrister Sarafadeen Alli
A lawyer and prominent Ibadan Chief. He is a former Secretary to Oyo State Government (SSG) and former president of a highest social club in Ibadan land, Ajorosun social club. He is a former Chief of Staff to the former governor, Rasheed Ladoja. He became a local government chairman at the age of 29. He was a former chairman of Odua Investment, a southwest investment organisation. He was a governorship aspirant on the platform of the defunct ACN in 2011 and a running mate to the former governor of the state, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala in 2015 on the platform of Labour party.
Alli is known for his meticulousness and high level of intelligence. He has structures across the state. He is a core grassroots political mobiliser. He usually delivers his Ibadan North local government to any party he belongs. He is eyeing the number one man job of the State.