Osun Election: PDP suffers setback as Oyinlola dumps party, defects to APC

Osun Mega Rally for Aregbesola's Re-election

The former Osun State governor said the South West zone has not been fairly treated by the PDP.


A former governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, on Tuesday finally dumped the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Mr. Oyinlola, who is also a former National Secretary of the PDP, showed up at the APC’s final campaign rally held in Osogbo, the state capital, for the re-election of the governor, Rauf Aregebsola.

The appearance of the former governor at the rally ended months of speculation that he would join the APC.

He was present at the Kano State Liaison Office in Abuja when five PDP governors defected to the APC last October 26.

Before then, Mr. Oyinlola had engaged in a fruitless struggle to regain his position as PDP national secretary, a position from which he was sacked in January 2013 by a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Although he won an appeal, the PDP appointed an indigene of Lagos State, Remi Akitoye, as acting national secretary before the South West Chapter picked Wale Oladipo, from Osun State, as the party’s substantive secretary .

Apparently in a bid to regain the coveted party position, Mr. Oyinlola met with President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP National Chairman, Adamu Ma’azu, at the Presidential Villa on July 1.

He told journalists after the one-hour meeting that Mr. Ma’azu brought him to meet the president to discuss the ruling party’s misfortune.

His defection to the APC clearly indicates that the negotiations for him to reconcile with the party broke down.

At the rally, the former governor, who spoke in Yoruba, recounted to the mammoth crowd that in 2010, Mr. Jonathan invited him and informed him about his plan to run in the 2011 presidential election and that he (president) was going to consult PDP leaders.

The former PDP national secretary said he asked the president to first consult former President Olusegun Obasanjo because he (Obasanjo) would rally party supporters to back him in the election.

He narrated how Mr. Jonathan heeded his advice which he said helped him to secure the support of the former president and eventually win the election

Mr. Oyinlola, who was dressed in green agbada with a red cap, however, regretted that despite the huge support from Mr. Obasanjo, the president has been trying to ridicule and humiliate Mr. Obasanjo in a bid to reduce him to nothing.

Explaining the several ways the president humiliated Mr. Obasanjo, the former Osun State governor said the Ogun State (where Mr. Obasanjo hails from) and the South West Chapters of the PDP were dissolved without consulting the former president, who was the party’s leader in the zone.

He also lamented that the South West lost out in the sharing of the six key positions usually shared by the PDP at the federal level, namely the Office of President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the position of the National Chairman of the PDP.

According to him, the highest position now occupied by an indigene of the zone is that of Chief of Staff, which he said is unknown to Nigerian laws.

He asked the people of Osun State to vote for Mr. Aregbesola, who succeeded him when he was sacked by the Court of Appeal in Ibadan in November 2010.

Mr. Oyinlola, who then invited two former governors of the state, Bisi Akande and Isiaka Adeleke, as well as Mr. Aregebsola to the podium during his speech, asked the crowd if they were the ones that voted for them in the past, to which they responded in the affirmative.

He admonished the crowd to do it again for Mr. Aregbesola.

He said the PDP governorship candidate, Iyiola Omisore, could not be trusted because he was “self-centred, greedy and selfish.”

According to him, any time the PDP candidate wants his bidding done, he would talk slowly, but whenever he wants to cause confusion or destroy a thing, he would speak at a terribly fast rate of 1000 words per minute so no one will be able to comprehend his antics.

Reflecting on the murder of a former governor of the old Oyo State, Bola Ige, in December 2001, Mr. Oyinlola said although he did not know how he (Ige) died, “what I know is that he (Omisore) was arrested in connection with the murder of Bola Ige.”

According to him, Mr. Omisore had demonstrated that only those implicated in the killing of Mr. Ige were now his favourite in the politics of Osun state.

Mega Rally-3

He listed them to include the incumbent National Secretary of the PDP, Wale Oladipo, the Police Affairs Minister, Abduljelili Adesiyan and one Gani Olaoluwa, all of whom he claimed were arrested and detained over the assassination of Mr. Ige.

Mr. Oyinlola also alleged that the PDP was planning to field one Kunle Alao, who was also implicated and arrested over the killing of the former, as a senatorial candidate in the state.

“Only those who had the benefit of being detained along with Omisore are the ones benefiting from political appointments. So, if we were not in prison together, we can’t get positions. All we should try to do is to go to prison,” he said sarcastically.

Mr. Oyinlola said almost every chieftain of the PDP in Osun State, including Mr. Adeleke and a former Secretary to the State Government, Fatai Akinbade, had left the party.

He likened the PDP in Osun State to a market that had dispersed because the day had ended.

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