The Oyo State governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the 2019 elections, Olufemi Lanlehin, has rejoined the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr Lanlehin represented Oyo South District between 2011 and 2015 on the platform of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which was one of the legacy parties that merged to form the APC.
He, however, in 2015 left APC to join the Accord Party and in 2019 ran for governor on the platform of ADC.
Mr Lanlehin’s return to the APC is coming 18 months after he gave up his ambition to support Seyi Makinde who was eventually elected governor under the PDP flag..
A former governor of the state, Rasidi Ladoja, had few days to the election, persuaded Mr Lanlehin, the Zenith Labour Party candidate, Sharafadeen Alli, and Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Bolaji Ayorinde, to support Mr Makinde against APC’s Adebayo Adelabu.
Mr Lanlehin is said to be angry that Mr Makinde did not keep to the terms of the accord that drew him the support of some of his rivals for the election.
Mr Lanlehin announced his return to the APC at a meeting of the party’s leaders in Ibadan, the state capital.
At the meeting were the Chairman, Nigerian Communication Commission(NCC), Adeolu Akande, the Chairman of Nigerian Lottery Regulatory Commission, Fatai Ibikunle, former minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, former Chairman, Oyo State Teaching Service Commission, Abu Gbadamosi, and Niyi Akintola, a governorship aspirant of APC in 2019.
Others were Adesoji Akanbi, Saheed Fijabi, Olusumbo Olugbemi, Saheed Adejare, Fatai Salam, Goke Oyetunji, Isiaka Alimi, Lekan Kazeem, Jelili Agboola, Yekini Popoola, Soji Ojoawo, Niyi Olabiyi, Adekunle Muktar, Adelani Azeez and Bosun Oladele.
Announcing his return to the APC at the meeting, Mr Lanlehin said, “I am back home. I want to assure you that I am back in APC. I am here to be loyal and honest to the party. There is no problem.”
According to the communique made available to journalists after the meeting, the party members agreed to resolve their differences and work for the unity of the party.
In the communique signed by a former Secretary to the State Government, Waheed Olajide (Chairman) and Mr Akande (Secretary), the party stalwarts said all contentious issues within the party had been examined and resolved.
They commended the National Caretaker Committee of the APC and the Governor Abubakar Badaru-led Reconciliation Committee for the peace initiative in the party.
“Members of the APC in Oyo State were implored to resolve their differences and work for the unity of the party.
“All contentious issues that led to the crisis in the party were examined and addressed. The members were informed that there would soon be fresh registration of all members at a date to be announced.
“They were informed that the party will soon hold congresses to elect new executives in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. The party will thereafter hold a convention latest by January 2021.
“The two groups that attended the meeting with the committee were directed to nominate three (3) members each that will oversee the fresh registration of all members with the executive committee of the party.
“The stakeholders commended the National Caretaker Committee of the APC and the Gov. Abubakar Badaru-led Reconciliation Committee for the peace initiative in the party.
“The meeting specifically thanked Dr Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Ekiti State, for volunteering to host the meeting of the stakeholders of the APC in Oyo State and for his untiring efforts to restore peace to the party in the state.
“The meeting accepted all the proposals for peace as contained in the reports of representatives to the meetings in Abuja.
“The meeting mandated the representatives to the Abuja meetings to select the three members that will work with others on the fresh registration of members.
“The meeting enjoined all members of the APC to shun any action that could derail the peace initiative in the party.”