Oyo PDP Ward Congress: Folarin, Akala Share Delegates
As at press time, final results of the Oyo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ward Congress held on November 1, 2014 were yet to be released officially by the party.
WESTERN POST investigation however, revealed that former Senate Majority Leader, Senator TeslimFolarin and immediate past governor of the State, Otunba Adebayo AlaoAkala were the likely front runners in the contest.
The recent ward congress held across 351 Wards in the 33 Local Government Areas of the State was reportedly peaceful in some places while pockets of violence and disruptions were recorded in other areas as the leading contenders lay claim to victory and accused one another of electoral malpractices.
The development had jolted the National leadership of the Party, whichwas seriously concerned about the turn of events as the November 29 date for the governorship primaries drew nearer.
Consequently, a three-man Appeal Panel led by former Minister of Health, Prof.AlphonsusNwosu was set up by the National Secretariat to attend to the grievances of the aspirants notably KehindeOlaosebikan,
Senator Ayo Adeseun, Prof.TaoheedAdedoja, Eng. SeyiMakinde, Dr.OwolabiBabalola, Prof.SojiAdejumo and Eng. Femi Babalolaa.ka. Jogor.
The Panel had also recommended cancellation of results of the exercise in some local government areas where the process had been reportedly flawed.
In spite of this, fears that the process of electing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) governorship candidate in Oyo State would be anything but smooth sailing remained.
The June 21, 2014 victory of Governor AyodeleFayose of Ekiti State had brought the Party back to life in the South-west. The outcome of the election had bolstered the morale of PDP members across the region including Oyo State, where intra-party wrangling caused by the struggle among its notable gladiators for the control of the State Party machinery had led to factions.
To consolidate on the gains of the Ekiti victory, the National and South-west Zonal leadership of the PDP had swung into action and organised a Mobilisation Rally in Ibadan.
At that rally were aspirants who had indicated interest in the governorship ticket of the Party, including Governor AyodeleFayose and PDP South-west Coordinator, Prince BurujiKashamu, who enjoined members, loyalists, party faithfuls and the aspirants to work unitedly and wrestle political power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Akala’s Ex-Commissioner for Health Joins Governorship Race
The immediate past Commissioner for Health under former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala’s administration, Dr.BabalolaOwolabi has declared his intention to vie for the governorship seat in Oyo State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.
Dr.Owolabi while speaking with journalists and other political supporters at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, stated that, he wanted to govern the state to ameliorate the sufferings being encountered by people of the state and not to enrich himself.
Disclosing the reason for his interest, the former health commissioner further hinted that his decision to rule the state was hinged on the fact that he could not tolerate seeing his people wallowing in hunger and poverty.
“Fellow citizens of our Pacesetting State, party leaders, members, elected and political appointees, trade unions, students, farmers, artisans, all you voiceless, excluded and unheard, I present myself, in deep reflection and humility as candidate for governorship of Oyo State on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party(PDP),” he declared.
In arriving at the decision according to him, he has been massively encouraged by various leaders in the party as well as people from OkeOgun axis of the State, Ibarapa, Ogbomoso and Oyo respectively, adding that the support has been unprecedented.
In his manifesto, tagged “Atelewo Philosophy,” Owolabi vowed to tackle the state’s challenges in agriculture, education, health, environment and infrastructure.
He appealed to people of the state to continue to exercise patience, saying their sufferings would soon become a thing of the past if he could be elected as governor in 2015.