Three weeks after the gubernatorial election in Osun State, the Labour Party is still analyzing what went wrong at the polls where it came a distant third.
A statement issued on Sunday by Kayode Oladeji, media aide to the party’s Osun gubernatorial candidate, quoted Tunde Olatunji, the State Chairman, as attributing the poor showing of the party to those he claimed engaged in anti-party activities occasioned by material inducements.
“Just because of rice and N5, 000, some of our members here mortgaged their future,” Mr. Olatunji said. “If I may ask: Where is the rice, the kerosene or the money they collected?”
In its first statement after the August 9 election, Fatai Akinbade, the LP candidate for the election blamed candidates of other political parties for his defeat, accusing them of “confusing” his supporters.
Mr. Akinbade polled 8,898 votes to finish third, behind Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate (394,684 votes), and Iyiola Omisore, of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, (292,747 votes).
Mr. Olatunji, however, noted that the party would not allow the result to cause a setback for the LP.
“For us it is no retreat, no surrender. We are surely marching forward it is just a question of time,” he said.
The statement urged members of the party across the state not to be dampened by the outcome of the election.
Speaking to party officials at his Ogbaagbaa country home in Ola-Oluwa Local Government area, Osun State, Mr. Akinbade appealed to the party members not to be discouraged by the outcome of the August 9 election.
“We were never disgraced. We fought gallantly and as such, our heads remain unbowed. We are just barely seven months in this party and like you all know, we faced challenges,” Mr. Akinbade said according to the statement.
“So I will just urge us to be steadfast. Failure is never final; the battle continues,” he added.
Mr. Akinbade debunked rumours that he was crossing over to the APC, saying he will remain in Labour Party, and help build the party to an enviable level.
“I am not moving into APC or any other party. I am staying put in the LP to rebuild it. The party has a bright future. My rumoured and imaginary movement to any other party now is just rubbish and that is why I said we shall participate fully under the LP, in the coming election,” he said.
On the presidential candidate to be supported in the coming election, Mr. Akinbade said it was the LP national secretariat that would give directive on who to support.
“On the coming presidential election, it is whoever our party in Abuja directs us to work for if we don’t have candidate,” he said.