Governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State in the 2019 general election, Adebayo Adelabu has said that there was no more crises in the party after the aggrieved parties have been reconciled, paving the way for early preparation ahead of 2023 general election.
While saying the move was to better position the party for the 2023 election, Adelabu added that “as it is today, there is no leadership crisis in the APC in the state. I am part of the reconciliation process, from the meeting held in the house of Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, to the Abuja meeting and the last one convened by Governor Kayode Fayemi in his Ibadan residence.”
The former Central Bank of Nigeria deputy governor, who stated this at a media parley as part of the activities put in place to mark his 50th birthday anniversary, coming up on Monday, said the ongoing controversy on the person of who is the leader of APC in Oyo State is misplaced.
He declared that the general consensus of the stakeholders is that there is no single leader of the party, but a college of leaders, while former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala has been chosen to be the chairman of college of leaders in Oyo APC.
According to him, one good thing that has happened to the APC is the fact that there is no more crises, after a successful reconciliation of all the aggrieved parties.
“The deliberations and decisions reached at all the meetings are encouraging. We are ready to work together. We don’t have groups in the party again. We don’t have Unity Forum, SENACO or any other group. What we have now is one strong APC in Oyo State,” he said.
Saying he was happy about the ongoing reconciliation process in Oyo APC which he noted, has produced former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala as the leader of the College of Leaders of the party, he explained, “What we have now is a collegiate leadership in the Oyo APC, with Governor Alao-Akala appointed as the leader of the College of Leaders. Nobody with political ambition can be part of the collegiate.”
At the event were former chairman, Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) Ayodeji Aleshinloye, Wale Sanusi, Wale Murphy, Gbenga Olayemi and Bayo Busari.
Speaking on the 2019 general election, he said that the coalition between gubernatorial candidates in the state which was facilitated by a former governor, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja was the only reason he lost the election to Governor Seyi Makinde.
Former governor Ladoja facilitated the coalition between governorship candidates of African Democratic Congress (ADC), Senator Olufemi Lanlehin; Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Sarafadeen Abiodun Alli; Social Democratic Party (SDP), Bolaji Ayorinde and People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Seyi Makinde few days to the 2019 gubernatorial election.
He said that the coalition was the last straw that broke the camel’s back, adding that Makinde would not have won the election, if the coalition did not take place.
“The coalition is no more there; he has disappointed those who signed the pact with him prior to the election. Let me tell you that it is a matter of what we can see. One of those who worked for him, Senator Femi Lanlehin is now in APC. The coalition is no more there. And the governor has not done anything meaningfully in the last one year. We will dislodge him because the coalition is no more there and the poor performance of the governor will give us opportunity ahead of him,” he said.
He however, said his ambition to govern the state in 2023 remains alive and will never die.
While declaring that he was happy that he did not win the 2019 election, he pointed out that now, at 50, he is more mature and would make a better governor in 2023.
“Losing the election has afforded me opportunity to know more about how progressives operate in the state and I have warmed myself into the heart of the APC members and leaders in the state.
“My interest in Oyo politics is still very alive. My governorship is alive, undying and will never die. I am happy for not becoming the governor in 2019. That loss has made me to get wiser politically and has made me to be closer to the people at the grassroots and also the political leaders,” he said.
On the chances of the APC against the PDP administration in the state, Adelabu said the main opposition party, aided by success of the ongoing reconciliation process, would collectively dislodge Governor Makinde from office in the state.
He alleged that, almost two years after Governor Seyi Makinde was inaugurated, nothing concrete could be pointed to as achievement of the PDP-led government.
“Everything this administration promised the people of the state is still on their wish list 16 months after coming on board. With the caliber of people that have returned to APC, no party can stand the way of our party,” he said.
“No state needs a governor before salary is paid. When salary is paid through statutory allocations and it goes straight to the Accountant General, they take it to the bank and they pay. Why must that be the major achievement of any governor?
“And when you embark too much on populist programmes, which, in most cases, are not always giving the state sustainable development, it is more about immediate consumption.
“Populist programmes are short-lived. Within a short period, people will know that this man doesn’t really have so much to offer in terms of sustainable infrastructural development,” Adelabu said.
He was therefore full of thanks to God for sparing his life to reach 50 years, noting that his grandfather, Adegoke Adelabu and father AbdulRauf Adelabu, both died aged 43 and 33, respectively.
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