ZLP, ADC have been integrated into my government, says Makinde
…as alignment, realignment begin in Oyo ahead 2023
Precisely a week to the 2019 gubernatorial election, some major opposition parties came together to form a coalition to dislodge the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that was at helm of affairs in Oyo State.
Four top governorship candidates, Seyi Makinde of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP); Senator Femi Lanlehin of Action Democratic Congress (ADC); Sharafadeen Alli of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) announced their alliance to work together.
The trio of Lanlehin, Alli and Ayorinde were persuaded by a former governor of the pacesetter state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja to jettison their individual ambitions and supported Makinde who defeated Adebayo Adelabu of the APC in March 9th, 2019 elections.
During the merger that led to Makinde’s endorsement as the sole candidate, there were some agreements reached with the trio and others who worked for the governor’s success in the election.
It was allegedly agreed that the PDP takes 64 percent; ADC would take 30, ZLP 10 and SDP 5 percent of all positions across board.
But few months after, some partners accused Makinde of not honoring the terms and agreement of the coalition.
It was Lanlehin who first opted of the coalition, feeling uncomfortable with Makinde’s disposition to the agreement.
Lanlehin said in a statement that he had opted out because of Makinde’s non-compliance with the spirit and letter of the terms of the pre-election agreement.
He however, said that his party, the ADC, is at liberty to remain in the coalition, and believes it should, in fact, remain.
In a statement he personally signed, he said, “A lot of water has passed under the bridge since the gubernatorial election of Oyo State on the 9th March, 2019, which overwhelmingly threw up Engr. Oluwaseyi Makinde as governor of the state.
“In order to prevent the recurrence of the incidence of the Oyo State gubernatorial election of 2015, in which a gubernatorial candidate won the election with a minority vote of 32percent, I, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin (SOLAN), gubernatorial candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), together with some other gubernatorial candidates decided to drop the mandate of my party in order to support the candidature of Engr. Seyi Makinde of the PDP. This was with the consent of party elders, leaders, stakeholders and members.
“This in essence meant that at the end of a victorious election, a Unity Government would be formed comprising the coalition parties, in the ratio agreed upon before the election.”
Lanlehin further said: “The gubernatorial election has come and gone, won and lost. Won by Seyi Makinde of the PDP with the support of the coalition parties, and lost by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“I, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin (SOLAN), of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), state unequivocally that I still fervently believe in the principle that birthed the Engr. Seyi Makinde government, and give my total support to its success.
“I also do state that I remain a very committed member of my party, the African Democratic Congress (ADC) whose members worked assiduously and tirelessly in installing the Seyi Makinde government, and expect participation in same as agreed before the said gubernatorial election of March, 2019. Candidate Seyi Makinde (as he then was) made some promises to me as the incumbent candidate of my party, the ADC. I willingly and absolutely agreed to surrender my gubernatorial mandate in the common interest of the people of Oyo State.”
“I wish the governor a resounding success in the performance of the onerous duties providence has placed on his shoulders. May the Almighty God see him through,” he further said.
But Lanlehin has since left the ADC to join APC.
Also, the gubernatorial candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in the 2019 general election in Oyo State, Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli, said the governor was yet to fulfil the promise he made to the party before the election.
The former Secretary to Oyo State government while reacting to some statements credited to one of the governor’s aide, Babatunde Oduyoye insisted that most of the assertions made by Oduyoye are not correct, especially as it affects ZLP.
Oduyoye had earlier said that the governor has fulfilled the coalition agreement with other parties.
Alli noted that Makinde promised two slots for the party and one for Senator Ladoja, Makinde has not fulfilled the promise made to the party.
He further revealed that ZLP was promised two commissionership slots and two Special advisers of which none was fulfilled up till now.
According to him, “Most of the assertions are not correct, especially as it affects ZLP. He promised two slots for the party and one for Baba Ladoja. He fulfilled that of Baba Ladoja and no cause for anyone to complain about the one given to Baba Ladoja; he reneged on the promise he made to the party.
“I have never been or agreed to be a member of the Governor Advisory Council (GAC) as stated by Oduyoye. I also see it as an attempt to cause a crack in the ZLP especially between Senator Ladoja and myself.”
However, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Taiwo Adisa said the governor has been magnanimous in the sharing formula with all parties that formed a coalition group in the state to ensure victory for the in the last gubernatorial election.
Adisa said the allegations leveled against Makinde by Senator Lanlehin was not true because the governor and other members of the coalition had met on different occasions on procedures to adopt in the sharing formula agreed on even before the election.
He reiterated that Makinde has been fair, just and truthful in handling all the discussions related to the coalition group, noting that Senator Lalehin’s allegation was inconsistent with the reality.
He said that Senator Lanlehin only had issues with the other leaders of the ADC on how to share the positions allotted to the ADC.
The ADC in the state had faulted the withdrawal of Lanlehin from the alliance with the PDP.
The party said ADC, its teeming members, and supporters across the state are solidly in continued support of the governor, “believing that we are on the same page.”
Just last week, Makinde cleared air on the alleged non-fulfillment of the agreement reached with the coalition partners in the 2019 election, saying a number of the members of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the ZLP have been integrated into the government.
The governor stated this when he and the Chairman, Governor’s Advisory Council, Hosea Agboola received some loyalists of a former Governor of the state and Leader of the coalition political parties that midwifed the electoral victory of the governor in the 2019 election, Rashidi Ladoja at the government House.
The Governor flanked by Senator Agboola and the State Commissioner for Local Government, Bayo Lawal said he was ready to accommodate all.
According to him, “Unknown to many, I am in constant touch with Baba Ladoja and we have exchanged messages this morning (Wednesday). Many don’t know and would carry unfounded rumours.
“I want to implore you to go back to your local government and am assuring you that there would be reward for your labour. I have simplified governance.
“I am not perfect but I am human who is fallible like every mortal. I have been trying my luck on the political turf since 2007 and it didn’t work until God said it was time.”
Led by the State Chairman of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Wole Abisoye, the defecting members pledged allegiance to Governor Makinde and the PDP.
Abisoye, who thanked Senator Agboola for facilitating their comeback bid to the PDP, said he stayed away from the recent meeting of some leaders of ZLP with the opposition spearheaded by the 2019 gubernatorial candidate of the ZLP, Sharafadeen Alli.
According to Abisoye, “PDP is a better home. I can’t go back to the progressive that I left since Lam Adesina days.
“Senator Ladoja is aware of this meeting and that’s why you can see Lanmbash”, referring to former governor’s media aide, Lanre Bashir and a host of others from across the State.
Agboola, who said Governor Makinde’s best was yet to come, as he praised the governor for his giant strides in education, workers’ welfare, infrastructural facilities across the state, appointment of politicians across political divides, also admonished the defecting ZLP members of better times ahead in the PDP.
“On my 2023, and the future, let the will of God be done. Even before I became the governor, all I have always prayed for was that the will of God be done in my life. Whatever God has in store for everyone, it would come at His appointed time,” Makinde said.
However, in swift reaction, the leadership of the Zenith Labour Party said it did not approve the meeting with Makinde led by Abisoye.
Bimbo Adepoju, secretary of the party in the state, said ZLP chairman, Wole Abisoye and others were on their own.
Taking a swipe at Abisoye and those he described as his co-travellers, Adepoju added that “This is Abisoye who saw nothing good in Governor Seyi Makinde, even up till last week, until they met few days ago. He resigned his position as state chairman of the ZLP immediately the coalition parties adopted Seyi Makinde as governorship candidate in 2019; he left and worked for APC.
Alignment and realignment for 2023
Merger talks ahead of the 2023 general election have begun in earnest between APC and ZLP in Oyo State.
The 2019 governorship candidate of ZLP, Sharafadeen Alli, led a team of Ladoja’s loyalists to a meeting held at Premier Hotel, Ibadan at Ladoja’s instance.
The meeting attended by notable leaders of both APC and ZLP, is aimed at wresting power from the Makinde’s ruling PDP in the state.
The ZLP team members also included former Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Adeolu Adeleke, Bimbo Adepoju; Waheed Amanda and K.K. Raji.
The APC team was also led to the meeting by the Caretaker Chairman of the party in the state, Akin Oke.
The team also had the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Contents, Teslim Folarin (Oyo Central Senatorial District), two serving members of the House of Representatives, Segun Odebunmi (Ogo-Oluwa/Surulere Federal Constituency) and Akeem Adeyemi (Oyo Federal Constituency).
Others on the APC team at the meeting include former Commissioner for Environment in the state, Lowo Obisesan; the 2019 APC governorship aspirant in the state, Olusola Ayandele, Minority Leader of Oyo State House of Assembly, Asimiyu Alarape; former PDP chairman in the state, Yinka Taiwo; Secretary, APC Caretaker Committee in the state, Mojeed Olaoya; Secretary, APC Registration/Revalidation Committee; Olawale Sadare; and a chieftain of APC, Wale Ohu, who is a staunch loyalist of former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala.
An APC chieftain, Wale Ohu, said there was nothing new about the meeting “because this is a season of consultations. The ZLP symbolised by the Ladoja group and the APC led by our own party chairman, Akin Oke, are here for deliberation and consultation. That is why we are here.”