In what appeared to be a crack on the wall, loyalists of former governor Rashidi Ladoja Wednesday evening met Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo State, to perfect their defection to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
This came barely a week after another set of loyalists met the leadership of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, in Oyo State.
Senator Ladoja who is the leader of the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, was instrumental to the coalition that led to the victory of Makinde in the 2019 election.
Leaders of the coalition partners, African Democratic Congress, ADC, and ZLP, had berated Makinde for reneging on agreement reached during the election, an action which has made candidate of the ADC, Sen. Olufemi Lanlehin, to dump his party for the APC.
Only last Friday, ZLP governorship candidate, Sharafadeen Alli, led others to Premier Hotel venue of the meeting with APC leaders.
In a twist of event of event, Makinde received ZLP chairman, Wole Abisoye who led others to the Government House to finalist their defection.
Though it is yet to be known where Ladoja would pitch his tent, this Newspaper had Wednesday afternoon reported how Ladoja offered to reconcile Makinde and and Ayo Fayose, former governor of Ekiti, who is at loggerhead with the governor over the leadership of the party in the Southwest.
Abisoye, who led the defecting Ladoja loyalists pledged allegiance to Makinde and the PDP.
They sang praises of the governor and commended his welfarist policy to Oyo Workers and the pensioners in the State.
Abisoye who thanked Senator Hosea Agboola, who joined Makinde to receive them, for facilitating their comeback bid to the PDP, said he stayed away from the recent meeting of some leaders of ZLP with the opposition spearheaded by the ZLP gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 election.
According to Abisoye, “PDP is a better home. I can’t go back to the progressive that I left since Lam Adesina days.
“Senator Ladoja is aware of this meeting and that’s why you can see Lanbash”, referring to former Governor’s media aide, Alhaji Lanre Bashir and a host of others from across the State.
Abisoye, like other ZLP members, appealed for proper consideration of ZLP members ahead of the forthcoming Local Government election.
Speaking, Agboola, who said Makinde’s best was yet to come, as he praised the governor for his giant strides in education, workers’ welfare, infrastrixfacilitkes across the State, appointment of politicians across political divides, also admonished the defecting ZLP members of better times ahead in the PDP.
The governor flanked by Senator Agboola and the State Commissioner for Local Government, Chief Bayo Raji, said he was ready to accommodate all.
Makinde cleared air on the alleged non-fulfilment of the agreement reached with the coalition partners in the 2019 election, saying a number of the members of the ADC and the ZLP have been integrated into the government.
“Unknown to many, I am in constant touch with Baba Ladoja and we have exchanged messages this morning (Wednesday). Many don’t know and would carry unfounded rumours.
“I want to implore you to go back to your local government and am assuring you that there would be reward for your labour. I have simplified governance.
“I am not perfect but I am human who is fallible like every mortal. I have been trying my luck on the political turf since 2007 and it didn’t work until God said it was time.
“On my 2023, and the future, let the will of God be done. Even before I became the governor, all I have always prayed for was that the will of God be done in my life. Whatever God has in store for everyone, it would come at His appointed time, Makinde added.