The candidates for the National and state legislative houses on Friday pledged allegiance to leaders of the party, former Governor Rashidi Ladoja, former Secretary to the State Government, Chief Michael Koleoso and a host of others.
Rising from an emergency meeting of the party’s stakeholders and candidates in Ibadan, two serving lawmakers in the state house of Assembly who were spokesmen of the group, Gbenga Oyekola and Segun Olaleye respectively also affirmed the group’s support to the aspiration of Senator Olufemi Lanlehin as the party’s gubernatorial flagbearer for the coming election.
There has been front and back from the political camp of Ladoja with some of them urging the Ibadan High Chief to dump ADC for the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) for majority of his loyalists to realise their ambition in 2019.
Remember that the current ADC in the state is an amalgam of aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party and ruling All Progressives Congress men, a quantum of Labour party members and former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Coalition for Nigerian Movement (CNM). Those opposed to the continued stay of Ladoja alleged that many candidates emerged against the interest of Ladoja’s political camp.
The stakeholders however reaffirmed confidence in the ability of Ladoja; Koleoso; Dr Adebisi Busari; Chief Layiwola Olakojo and Alhaji Fatai Ibikunle to lead the party and its candidates to victory in next year’s election.
Oyekola and Olaleye in a joint press statement said the meetings, which were well attended, had in attendance the three Senatorial candidates of the party, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu (Oyo Central); Senator Soji Akanbi (Oyo South); Chief Bayo Lawal (Oyo North); 14 House of Representatives and 32 House of Assembly candidates.
The lawmakers said the party’s stakeholders were confident that the leaders, with their “enviable political pedigree and time-tested electoral value,” would lead the campaign for the party as soon as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lifted the ban of campaign.
Oyekola and Olaleye dispelled insinuation that Senator Ladoja would dump the party, expressing optimism that the Osi Olubadan would join forces with other leaders to bring about a pro-people government in the state under the banner of ADC in 2019 for the benefit of all the populace.
The lawmaker said with “the array of political stars God has blessed ADC with and the strength of ADC in all the parts of the state,” ADC was not just the most viable opposition party in the state today but also a government-in-waiting.
“For us, it is no longer a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ ADC forms the government of Oyo State in 2019. We are lucky in ADC to be blessed with the leaders who have proved their mettle politically in the politics of the state and beyond. Name any party that parades with galaxy of stars we have in our party in the state.
“When the time for campaign comes and our leaders leading the charge, it will be clear to all that our party will form the next government and our candidates will sweep the polls. ADC is strong in all the zones of the state.
“The people of the state have shown preference for ADC. They have been calling us to settle whatever issues we have in our party quickly. They have been literally warning us not let them down by allowing little things to disrupt our cohesion as a formidable force against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC),” the spokespersons said.
The meetings, according to Oyekola and Olaleye, also appealed to the group of 12 aggrieved governorship aspirants to sheath their sword, assuring them that their interest would be taken care of with Senator Lanlehin as the incoming governor of the state in 2019.
“We are not saying they don’t have reasons to be aggrieved. But we want them to consider the larger interest of the people of the state and the love and the goodwill the party has enjoyed within a short period of time.
“They should cooperate with the party and its leaders. They should continue to give their support to the party. We call on them to withdraw the case filed in court against the emergence of Lanlehin who happens to be the candidate the people of the state have been waiting for the party to pick,” they said.