- Picks Sharafadeen Alli as running-mate
By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
The leadership of the Oyo State Labour Party (LP) on Wednesday formally welcomed the former governor of the State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala who on Monday defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the party.
He was received by thousands of enthusiastic party supporters of the LP.
The defection of the former governor was brought to bear after series of consultations have been finalised with leadership of the party.
All the gubernatorial aspirants of the party have, however, stepped down for Akala to secure the mandate of the party to contest the 2015 governorship polls in the state.
The formal reception which was held at the Olubadan Stadium, Iyaganku, Ibadan witnessed a large turn-out of people who converged on the venue to catch a glimpse of the former “ATM Governor” being received to the party.
In his acceptance speech, Otunba Akala stated that the day marked the beginning of another history in the political landscape of the great state, adding that it was the beginning of victory over darkness, as they were on board to the promised land.
“The events of the recent weeks spurred us into taking this very bold step. A step that has put stop to rumours, gist and speculation within the political circuit in Oyo State and Nigeria at large,” he added.
“This year, against all expectations, something unique and historical happened. That has always being the peculiarity of political algebra in Oyo state and this has continually gone beyond any human ability or permutation.
“From the time of the late Cicero uncle Bola Ige (1979 to 1983), late Chief Kolapo Ishola’s short term of 1992-1993, Alhaji Lam Adesina, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, my humble self’s first stint as governor of the state and the current administration, the formula has never being the same.
“I want to reiterate it that we never planned to leave PDP. We were not chased out either but it was evident that the current leadership of the party had forgotten that politics is not the same as election.
“We set out to win election because we are sure that we have the masses on our side. But they were busy playing ‘politics from the top’ and never considered its implication during election proper. We refused to satisfy the minority and gamble with the lives of millions because of an inordinate ambition.
“Let me affirm here that after politics from the top comes election which can only be decided by the masses. It will speak of the master of the game. Though we’re not abrogating arrogance to ourselves, but our party as its slogan says- forward ever, backward never, its army is full of election marshals of note and not chess players.
“They are marshals who for a very long time have proven themselves while they’ve never shown any sign of tiredness. I refer to them as ‘tested and trusted’ marshals,” Akala stated.
The party’s guber aspirant promised to embark on massive public enlightenment to all nooks and crannies of the state, while restating the commitment to work together with other party faithfuls to make history in the state with Labour Party come February 2015 and beyond.
However, Otunba Akala has picked Barr. Sharafadeen Alli as his running mate in the forthcoming guber polls.
While speaking at the event, Barr. Alli said he stepped down for Akala as a result of who the party decided upon to clinch the governorship ticket.
In the same vein, another guber aspirant of the party who has stepped down, Com. Olu-Abiala has been picked to represent Oyo Central Senatorial District, Hon. Nurudeen Akinyo as Oyo South Senatorial District aspirant while Tijani Nuru-Were was nominated as Oyo North Senatorial District aspirant.