Bimbo Adepoju, secretary of the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, has revealed that Rashidi Ladoja, former governor of Oyo State and incumbent, Seyi Makinde, were supposed to meet same day the governor met Wole Abisoye, former chairman of the party, to prefect their defection move intot the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Makinde and Ladoja, Adepoju disclosed, had scheduled a meeting for that day. He said that Makinde had to text Ladoja that he would be traveling that day and that the meeting should be postponed, when in actual fact, he was meeting Abisoye and others at the Government House at the time.
Recall that this Newspaper had earlier reported how Makinde, joined by his governor’s advisory council chairman, Sen. Hosea Agboola, met the ZLP members. This was barely a week after the party’s governorship candidate in the 2019 election, Sharafadeen Alli, and others met the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state.
But Adepoju, who was responding to a question posed by Aanuoluwapo Omorinde on BOTTOM LINE a political programme on IBR 92.5 fm Ibadan at over the weekend on what becomes of the ZLP in the state with the readiness of the two factions to join the two leading political parties barring any change in plan, queried the gentlemanliness of Makinde for failing to honour the agreement he had with the coalition parties.
Saying that it was not possible for Ladoja to have endorsed the defection of anybody in the ZLP to the ruling PDP, Adepoju explained that only God can determine the future of the party in the pacesetter state.
In his words, “High Chief Ladoja asked to see Governor Seyi Makinde and he said he will be going to Abuja and that he will see him when he comes back. The same person who could not honour that invitation had the time to meet with some ZLP members by 1pm”.
“You know High Chief Rashidi Ladoja is like father to all irrespective of political party affiliation and he has chosen to separate his personal relationship with the Governor and that of the Governor with the party”.
He however dismissed the meeting that took place between the Governor and some ZLP members led by Abisoye saying “who are the ones who met with Governor Makinde at the Government House in ZLP? If you look at the calibre of those at the meeting with the APC at the Premier Hotel, you will know the real ZLP did not meet with the governor. Just compare”.
“Wole Abisoye only claims to be a comrade, he is not. Many of the people at the meeting that took place at the government house with Governor Seyi Makinde have called to say that Abisoye only lured them to the meeting”.
“During the coalition, Abisoye refused to work for Seyi Makinde. He worked for Adebayo Adelabu. He wore Adelabu’s cap all through the campaign. The same person is now going to the PDP. Isn’t that deceit of the highest order?”.
He denied the rumour that money exchanged hands at the meeting that took place at the Premier Hotel. “there was nothing like that. I swear, no one was given any money. Who will give us money, is it Akin Oke or who? What we are after is how to contribute our own quota to the development of Oyo State and to protect the interest of ZLP members”.
Adepoju revealed that the Ayodele Fayose faction of the South West PDP will be meeting with Senator Rashidi Ladoja soon and that this development is in consideration too.
On whether the Fayose’a meeting will affect the talks with the APC, he simply replied “let them come first”.
When asked whether those of them in talks with the APC will be registering with the party in the ongoing membership registration and validation exercise to show their seriousness with their move, he said “we are still in talks”.
He also dismissed the insinuation that the ZLP in Oyo State is only out to play transactional politics.
Reacting to a clip where an APC member claimed former Governor Rashidi Ladoja is coordinating the Presidential Campaign of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the South-West, Adepoju denied knowledge of this development but expressed doubt saying Ladoja does not keep anything from his associates.