Two former governors of Oyo State, Rasheed Ladoja and Adebayo Alao-Akala, appear to have begun moves to return to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Messrs. Ladoja and Alao-Akala were elected on the platform of the PDP as governor and deputy governor in 2003.
Mr. Alao-Akala was later elected governor on the party’s ticket in 2011.
While Mr. Ladoja later defected to Accord Party after he left office, Mr. Alao-Akala, at the height of the crisis in the PDP in the state, moved to Labour Party early 2015 where he contested the governorship election but lost to the incumbent, Abiola Ajimobi.
He is, however, believed to have dumped the LP for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in December 2015.
Both former governors sent representatives to a meeting of the members of Oyo State PDP at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja on Wednesday, inducing rumours that they were planning to return to the party.
Femi Lanlehin, a former senator, represented Mr. Ladoja, while Biodun Kareem led the Alao-Akala camp to the parley, which was at the instance of the PDP National Caretaker Committee.
Efforts by PREMIUM TIMES to speak with Mr. Ladoja on Thursday were unsuccessful as he and some of his supporters were said to be in a meeting with some officials of the PDP in Abuja.
One of his aides who spoke with this newspaper in a telephone interview confirmed the plan by the former governor and his supporters to move to the PDP.
“It is true we are returning to the PDP. We’re already finalizing plans to move and as we speak our people (members of Accord Party) are meeting with the PDP in Abuja,” said the aide who requested not to be named because he was not authorised to speak.
At the meeting, the chairman of the NCC, Ahmed Makarfi, urged party leaders not to compromise PDP structures but work towards ensuring that the party reclaims power in 2019.
“We are not in politics to suffer but to form government. PDP was the dominant party in the state but internal crisis caused us to lose election,” he said.
“What I don’t want is for one party to dominate. We want a healthy, competitive democracy where people would be free to choose their leaders.”
Mr. Makarfi also warned the leaders of the party against “cutting corners” to achieve personal ambition.