A former deputy governor of Oyo State and Nigeria’s ambassador to Jordan, Alhaji Taofiq Arapaja, has led notable leaders and thousands of supporters from three political parties to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ibadan South East Local Government Area of the state, with all citing the developmental strides of Governor Seyi Makinde as motivation for actions.
Arapaja, the state deputy governor under Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala between 2007 and 2011, led the defectors who have either held positions in the state or contested elections and their thousands of supporters from the All Progressives Congress (APC), Action Democratic Congress (ADC), Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and Labour Party.
They included: Honourable Akeem Ademola Ige, Comrade Deji Aboderin, Comrade Yinka Omikunle, Mr Adesokan, among others.
At the event tagged unification rally which was held at the Mapo Primary School, Odinjo, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Oladejo Arapaja cited the development agenda of Governor Makinde in the areas of education, infrastructure, agriculture, among others, as scorecards of his administration and harped that APC has died in the state.
Earlier in March, the South-West wing of the party had received the likes of former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Arapaja and other notable leaders in the geopolitical zone at a rally held in Mapo Hall. Tuesday’s event was to organise the move at the grassroots level as led by Arapaja.
While welcoming the decampees, the party leaders, the wife of former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladojo, Alhaja Mutiat Ladoja, who represented Makinde, maintained that the unfolding development in the state was signal that the opposition APC would not spring come 2023.
Arapaja, who had also served as local government chairman, maintained that as a lover of the state, he considered it necessary to team up and move the state forward. All of us from APC, ZLP, ADC and LP should work together as a party, PDP, to move the state forward.
He described the last eight years of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state wasted years.
He, however, cautioned the PDP faithful to eschew any form of wrangling that might militate against the bright chances of the party in future elections in the state and beyond and charged all leaders and members of the party continue working tirelessly to bring more people to the party, saying “politics is a game of numbers. Let us not see ourselves as enemies. Let us not think those who just joined the party are coming to rub us of our positions. No! No one can change destiny.”
Former Nigeria’s ambassador also cautioned the political office holders in the party to carry members along. “I am also calling on every leader to see one another as collaborators in the Oyo State Project which Governor stands to build.
He advised all leaders and stakeholders in the party to be patient and not allowing the issue of political appointments to divide the house. “It is only God gives political appointments and we should not be divided because of appointments,” he warned.
While speaking with newsmen at the event, decampees, expressed confidence in the leadership of Makinde, saying that from today on, the APC would continue to be decimated ahead of 2023 general election.
In his remarks, the special adviser to Governor Makinde, Honourable Akeem Ademola Ige, expressed confidence in the re-election of Makinde, saying “Going by the leadership excellence of our governor, come 2023, the governor will coast home victory because he has touched many areas.”
Comrade Deji Aboderin from the APC explained that the PDP would continue to wax, explaining that Makinde has left a vacuum too difficult to fill.
He added that, as a youth-driven governor, he has empowered a number of youths.
Present at the event were Alhaji Omokunmi Mustapha, PDP state chairman; Honourables Abass Adigun Agboworin; Abdlrasaq, Popoola Olusegun; Akem Ademola Ige, Dare Adeleke; Alhaji Wasiu Adeleke; Engineer Akeem Olatunji, among others.