- Ex-governor’s meeting with Tinubu, Ajimobi
By Adeola Oladele
ormer Oyo State governor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, has officially joined Labour Party and has emerged the candidate of the party for the 2015 governorship election in the state.
But WESTERN POST can reveal this weekend the former governor’s desperate bid for a party’s ticket to contest the poll.
While vying for the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party where he was a frontline chieftain and having realised that former Senate Leader Teslim Folarin to whom the party leadership in the state is loyal to may grab the ticket, Alao-Akala began discussions with leaders of other parties in the state as his Plan B.
WESTERN POST reliably learnt that the former governor met with Labour Party leaders in the state about two months ago where it was agreed that the governorship ticket would be reserved for him in the event that he failed to grab the PDP ticket.
There and then, a source within the party told the newspaper that former Secretary to Oyo State Government and immediate-past Chairman of the Board of O’odua Group of Companies, Barrister Sarafadeen Alli, who declared his intention to contest for governorship on LP ticket two weeks ago, had settled for the position of running mate to Akala without much hazzles.
It was also learnt that last month, the former governor also met with the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in Lagos where he discussed the possibility of flying the party’s flag in the governorship election.
Asiwaju Tinubu, it was learnt, did not give any commitment to Akala because Governor Abiola Ajimobi was not at the meeting.
Ajimobi was said to have been flustered that a meeting of that magnitude where the APC Oyo governorship ticket was being discussed was held without his knowledge and participation.
But a follow-up meeting was soon held at the IITA, Ibadan which had in attendance Tinubu, Ajimobi and Akala.
At the meeting, WESTERN POST learnt that Akala’s demand for the party’s governorship ticket was turned down.
But he was offered the senatorial ticket for Oyo South which is his strongholds with an additional opportunity of nominating a running mate for Governor Ajimobi.
He was also assured that he would not need to spend a penny on the race if accepted to run for the Senate.
Akala, it was gathered, was not favourably disposed to the idea but did not say so clearly at the meeting.
Before the meeting ended, the former governor was said to have been pacified over his complaint that Governor Ajimobi had not paid his pension as governor and that the parting gift of an SUV that he as governor extended to his predecessors had not been extended to him.
“Governor Ajimobi was said to have issued a cheque to cover the former governor’s pension and and to also procure an SVU,” one competent source told WESTERN POST.
Similarly, as the time of filing this report, all efforts to speak with the APC spokesperson in the state, Olawale Sadare, proved abortive as he did not pick the series of phones placed across to him to make comment on the development.