The Labour Party, LP, in Osun State has clarified its plans for the 2018 governorship election and its collaborative arrangements with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
There were reports that the LP had planned to merge with the PDP in a bid to forge a winning force against the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in next year’s governorship election.
There were also moves to woo leaders of the LP who were formally of the PDP to return to the party in order to fortify the PDP for the coming polls.
The move informed the appeals made to the arrowhead of the party in the state and governorship candidate in the 2014 election, Fatai Akinbade, to return to the PDP.
Mr. Akinbade had defected from the PDP to the LP following the controversial emergence of Iyiola Omisore as the candidate of the party.
But PREMIUM TIMES gathered on Wednesday that a merger or an outright defection of LP members would not be possible. Instead, the party would prefer an understanding with the PDP to work together for the goal of defeating the governing APC in the coming election.
The Publicity Secretary of the party, Abbis Adedigba, said the arrangement would see the continuation of the LP as an institution even after governorship election.
“The LP will not be subsumed in the PDP,” Mr. Adedigba said. “It is a working agreement with the governorship election next year as the focus.”
He explained that the arrangement would be similar to that of the senatorial election in Osun West which saw all the major opposition parties coming together to mobilise support for the PDP candidate.
“The working arrangement will not erase he identity of the LP,” said Mr. Adedigba, adding that the more details of the working relationship with the PDP were being worked out.
On whether the LP will be promoting a candidate to contest the primaries of the PDP ticket, he said the options were also being worked out as the politics of the arrangement is expected to cater for the interest of all stakeholders.
The caretaker chairman of the PDP in Osun State, Sarafadeen Ishola, leading other party leaders, had asked Mr. Akinbade to forgive the party and give way for reconciliation of past differences.
It was Mr. Ishola’s admonition that those who had left the party should return if PDP would defeat APC in the August, 2018 poll.
“We are here today to beg Oluomo (Akinbade), there are bound to be offences in politics. So, our brother, Alhaji Akinbade, forgive us and return to PDP.
There has never been any party that ruled Nigeria for 16 years since independence in 1960. We need to reconcile our differences,” Mr. Ishola pleaded.
“Osun people are clamouring for transformation and 2018 is vital in Osun.
The people are already asking for the exit of APC and we shouldn’t disappoint them.
We shouldn’t disobey the people of Osun.
“We will still beg other people like SSG and commissioners.”
Mr. Akinbade had responded by saying he was prepared, along with other members of his party to join the PDP in defeating the APC government.
He, however, said that the LP would meet and issue a formal release on its decision, adding that if the LP had not supported late Ademola Adeleke during the Osun West bye election, PDP might not have defeated the APC.
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