By OLUSESAN LAOYE
There seems to be confusion in the political circles in Oyo State, as the Senator Rashidi Ladoja’s political family in the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) which has been in coalition with the the Governor Seyi Makinde’s Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has finally pulled out of the accord, to join forces with the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the second term bid of Makinde in 2023.
The defection of the entire Ladoja’s political family and the move to collapsed the structure of the ZLP into the APC, is already generating controversies and causing political turmoil in Oyo State, because the far reaching effect on both the APC and the PDP.
In the first instance, the movement of the ZLP would definitely affect the PDP since Ladoja’s party was the biggest of all the three political parties that form the coalition that brought Makinde to power. Ladoja himself was the moving factor of the 2019 merger and he was the one who personally mobilised for Makinde to win and shunt APC out of power.
At that time, it was clear that no single political party could face the Ajimobi’s APC, then, in control of the state and the only option left was the coming together of other political parties.
This means that the second term of Makinde is daisy and faces a bleak future.
The exit of ZLP based on the accusation that Makinde failed to honour the agreement entered into, has already polarised the PDP and compounded the governor’s problems, which the insecurity of life and properties had earlier posed for him in the state.
It was learnt that some of the opinions and community leaders, who initially believed in Governor Makinde’s ability to govern have started distancing themselves from his administration on the allegation that the security of people in the state which is supposed to be key, has been poorly handled by him.
The argument going round the entire state is that Makinde’s administration has been the worse in terms of security management, as he was accused of being too slow in taking decisive actions in any crisis, particularly on issues of banditry and activities of herdsmen, killing and destroying farms in Oyo state.
This situation, it was said, led to the steps taken by Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho against the Fulani in Igangan, and the action of tthe Odua Peoples’ Congress OPC in the arrest of the alleged notorious kidnapper, Iskilu Wakili who was known to be unleashing terror on Kajola in the same Ibarapa, where Igboho drove away the Serikin Fulani and his followers for the same atrocities against the people.
The argument therefore was that if the government of Makinde had responded to the calls by the people on time, and take action, Igboho and OPC could not have taken it upon themselves to rescue the people from the hands of these alleged criminals.
One other problem which the Ladoja group could create for the PDP and Makind’s second term bid is the fact that this development could ginger some powerful members of the party, who have been complaining that they were not treated well, and who could have worked for him to move out of the party, and join Ladoja and Teslim Folarin whom they cooperated with while they were together in PDP.
On the other hand, in the APC which has now become very large in Oyo State, with the entry of the Zenith Labour Party of Ladoja coming with notable and influential leaders and members, there is no doubt that crisis would soon abound over sharing of positions and who leads the party, since the demise of the Late former Governor Abiola Ajimobi which has made the party a sheep without shepherd.
Again the party has dissolved all state executives, which observers say is intended to coopt and accommodate the coalition partner, ZLP in the power sharing formula. As it has always been the case when a large group join a political party with strong followers and leaders, the next thing that would happen is the scramble for positions and who dominates the party which would definitely be expected now in APC Oyo State.
The issue of the governorship ticket of the APC in 2023 would be another major battle. Already three contestants have shown interests. They are Teslim Folarin, Adelabu who was the candidate of the party in 2019 and Tegbe who apparently was asked to step down for Adelabu during the primary election in the same year.
With the Ladoja’s political family in the party, it would further be a battle royale because people like Snator Femi Lanlehin who had once aspired to contest under the party but lost to late Senator Abiola Ajimobi and who was the candidate of the African Democratic party ADP in 2019 but stepped down for Makinde due to the coalition with other political parties.
Also Alhaji Sarafadeen Alli, who was the candidate of the Zenith Labour party in the last election could be interested in the governorship. Both are Ladoja’s men.
This, it was said would be a serious issue for APC to tackle, which, if not properly handled, could pose a serious crisis in the APC. Senator Lanlehin while giving reasons for pulling out of the coalition said, he was not comfortable with Makinde’s non-compliance with the spirit of the pre election agreement.
Also Alhaji Sarafadeen Abiodun Alli of the ZLP raised the same issue as Lanlehin against Makinde. According to him, “Makinde denied the ZLP patronage, and that his words were not his bond”.
But Makinde’s Chief Press Secretary Taiwo Adisa debunked all the allegations against his principal, saying that “Govermor Makinde was very magnanimous in the sharing formula with all the political parties involved in the coalition. Makinde himself said that he has done the needful for all the parties, ADC,, ZLP, and the SDP.
Meanwhile the Oyo State Publicity Secretary of the PDP Akeem Olagunju has said that the movement of the Ladoja political family to the APC would not affect the chances of the party in 2023. According to him, “they are not members of the PDP and their going to another party has no relevance in our party”.