By Sola Shittu, Ibadan
The hot political terrain of Oyo State took a new turn on Tuesday, 25th August, 2014, as Governor Abiola Ajimobi loses the Senator from the state left in the All Progressives Congress (APC) to Senator Rashidi Ladoja’s Accord Party.
In a grand public rally and official presentation of Lanlehin and others to party members, Senator Ladoja officially handed over the party flag to Senator Lanlehin declaring him free to contest for any elective office under the party except governorship office reserved for Senator Ladoja who is the national face of the Accord Party.
In a rally that lasted over six hours, Accord Party supporters troop out in hundreds of thousands to welcome APC, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party decampees causing traffic gridlock all over streets and main roads adjourning Beere, Oja Oba, Idi Arere, Orita Merin and other areas of the ancient city.
Heavy security protection was provided by the Department of State Security Service (DSS), Nigerian Civil Defence Security and armed police men who stationed armour cars strategically at the venue of the event.
Among other decampees received into the party are: Senator Gbenga Babalola of the PDP, and another APC leader, Yemi Aderibigbe.
On ground to receive them are former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja; assisted by state chairman of the party, Arc. Bashir Bola Lawal; state Secretary of the party, Hon. Ogundiya Oguntoye; and other members of the leadership of the party in the state which included the incumbent Deputy Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Mr. David Babatunde Olaniyan Akoro; and former Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adeolu Adeleke.
Ladoja, whose entry into the Mapo Hall Arena venue of the heavily crowded event, could not wholly expressed what his joy was, as he said although Accord Party was already fully on ground in Oyo State the coming of Senator Lanlehin would be a huge moral booster of great deal for party members.
He then promised the mammoth crowd and the entire people of Oyo State that the Accord party would not let them down if elected to form a new government beginning from May 29, 2015. “We did it before and we shall do it even better again,” Ladoja said.
In his own speech, Lanlehin, who described Ladoja as “my leader and father” urged Oyo State people particularly his supporters to vote Senator Rashidi Ladoja for the office of governor come 2015 and also give their votes during the coming elections to enable ensure whoever would be in government at any level from local government through the state to the federal would be of Accord Party.
Former Oyo State Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adeolu Adeleke simply told the people to hold the All Progressive Congress, APC, by its words. “The APC when they were ACN said you should not vote for a party that does not have a Senator.
Today that Senator Lanlehin is now in Accord, I want to urge you the people of Oyo State, entirely, not to vote for APC because it is now truly a party that does not have a Senator,” he said.
Other speakers at the event said the defection of Senator Lanlehin to Accord, even as one other APC Senator was said to have also left the ruling for PDP, would greatly cause the APC electoral successes in the coming election.
The defection of Senator Gbenga Babalola formerly of PDP had also been said to be a crack that the PDP might not be able to mend in a hurry.
Others in attendance at the event included: member of the House of Representatives and Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Education, Hon. Abiola Adebukola Ajaja; another serving Accord Party’s member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Busari Olayemi and many others.