+How Gov. AJIMOBI Was Quietly Sidelined
Former Oyo governor, Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, has announced his decision to work with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state. He said his decision to re-align his political structure with the government at the federal level was for national interest. Akala stated this in a statement he personally signed over the weekend. He said he was approached by the Presidency to work with Bayo Adelabu, the gubernatorial candidate of APC in Oyo State, which he considered a privilege for the people of Oyo State. He noted that he decided to work with the candidate of the ruling party because the opposition parties refused to present him as the consensus candidate.
The statement reads: “Following the outcome of the just concluded presidential and national assembly elections, I, Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala…have decided to form an alliance with the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adebayo Adekola Adelabu, ahead of the March 9th Governorship and state House of
“However, all the ADP candidates for the House of Assembly seats will go to the elections with my maximum supports. Below is the full story of the realignment of forces.
As the coutndown to the Oyo State governorship election is racing to denovement, City People can authoritatively reveal that heavy pressure has been mounted on Otunba Alao Akala, who is also in the race, to throw his weight behind Oyo APC’s governorship candidate, Bayo Adelabu.
The dismal result of Pres. Muhammadu Buhari at the last presidential election in Oyo State and the loss of Senator Ajimobi at the Senate polls a few days back made the National leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to reach out to Akala a few days ago to work for APC in the state. He has agreed’s.
The statement reads: “Following the outcome of the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections, I, Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala – the Oyo State 2019 Action Democratic Party (ADP), candidate has decided to form an alliance with the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adebayo Adekola Adelabu, ahead of the March 9th Governorship and state House of assembly Elections in the state. However, all the ADP’s candidates for the House of Assembly seats will go to the elections with my maximum supports.
It is widely known that I initiated alliance talks with the main opposition parties in Oyo State vis-a-vis my great party – the Action Democratic Party ((ADP), the African Democratic Congress (ADC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP). My boss, a former governor of Oyo State and Osi Olubadan, Senator Rashid Adewolu Ladoja, is the mediator. Meanwhile, during the alliance process, I received an emergency call from the Presidency. In the meeting at the Presidency, I was prevailed upon to work for APC. My response was that I should be given 48hrs to consult with my people, the opposition parties alliance committee as well as the teeming members, the leaders and the stakeholders of my great party, ADP.
On resumption to the alliance meeting, my boss (High Chief Rashid Adewolu Ladoja) told me point blank in the presence of other governorship candidates that I was not in consideration for Governorship due (Sic) to my place of birth – Ogbomoso. According to him, “we need an Ibadan man to slug it out with another Ibadan man, which is Bayo Adelabu”. With the statement, my geographical place of birth is the only crime I committed.
“Since I’ve been unfairly and technically booted out of the alliance talks, I consulted with my party stakeholders and supporters whose supports have brought me this far. Having realised that my 2019 Governorship agenda cannot be realised in isolation based on the present situation, the only option remaining for me is to form an alliance with Mr Bayo Adelabu of APC. I remain in ADP and all our candidates for the House of Assembly seats will stand for the March 9th Elections with all my support BUT I WILL WORK FOR THE VICTORY OF BAYO ADELABU of APC.
“Bayo Adelabu is ready to work with ADP to adopt and implement the core values of our party and my manifesto. The Presidency approached me for an alliance based on our performance and grassroots network not only in Ogbomoso but also in Ibadan, Ibarapa, Oke-Ogun and Oyo. “Our core values and philosophy as indicated in our ADP’s manifestos, ‘Rescue Mission Agenda, have been adopted by Bayo Adelabu with Presidency as witness.”
“I have, therefore, as a candidate of ADP, accepted to support Adelabu of APC for victory and, therefore, form a coalition government. My solemn gratitude goes to our members, state and national leaders of ADP for the ample opportunity given to me to lead and fly the flag of the party. Though, my decision is a very tough one, it is for the progress of Oyo State.”
“For the benefit of hindsight, the unfortunate breakdown of alliance talks with the main opposition parties in Oyo State vis-a-vis our great party-the Action Democratic Party (ADP), the African Democratic Party (ADC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) which a former Governor of Oyo State and Osi Olubadan, Senator Rashid Adewolu Ladoja, initiated is not but unconnected with the fact that, personal interest and sentiments over-rided (Sic) the general interest of the People of Oyo State.
“The diverse and unachievable interest that pervaded the coalition among other connected issues that were raised and left unanswered led to the pull out from the coalition talks.
“So also, against the spirit of equality, Justice and fairness, the decision of certain interest within the coalating parties to narrow down the “FACE” of the coalition to a Particular Zone of the state also contributed largely to the breakdown of the coalition talks.
“Left with no other option upon being approached by the National Leadership of the All Progressives Congress (A.P.C) to help salvage the party in Oyo State and with the Promise of the APC Gubernatorial Candidate, Bayo Adelabu, expressing his readiness to work with the Action Democratic Party, adopt and implement the core values of our party AND, it’s Manifesto and the intervention of the Presidency hinged on our performance at the last elections and our party’s grassroots network not only in Ogbomoso but also in other parts of the state,
And so Akala accepted to support Bayo Adelabu of the All Progressives’ Congress for the Gubernatorial election. Akala assured the people of Oyo State that the hindrances of the past which led to our earlier exit from the APC, which is dead and buried will never rear its ugly head again with a promise of a new lease of life with the new ADP/APC coalition Government, which the new alliance promises to bring forth among many other suitable conditions which is cast in iron and under the strict supervision of the National Leadership of the APC.
City People gathered that both Asiwaju and Akala met twice last week, during which it was concluded that Akala should work for Oyo APC at the forthcoming elections. At the 2 meetings, (one in Abuja and the other in Lagos), they discussed Oyo State poor showing at the presidential election and Akala was mandated to lead a strong campaign to deliver all APC candidates, the guber and members of the House of Assembly in the March 9 elections. Akala was mandated to sideline the incumbent governor of Oyo State, if Ajimobi’s dwindling image would affect the success of the mandate given to Akala. After the initial Abuja meeting for which Tinubu sent his private jet to fly Akala to Abuja, another meeting was held last Thursday at the Bourdillon Street, the home of Bola Tinubu to finalise their game plan.
The reason Akala was initially reluctant to work for Adelabu was because the raw deal he suffered in the hands of Gov. Ajimobi. Akala was one of those who got angry with the way the Oyo APC’s primaries were handled. At that time, Otunba Alao Akala, a former governor of Oyo State, was still an APC party chieftain.
Just before the primary election, he issued a Press Release entitled: SAVE OYO APC FROM IMMINENT COLLAPSE, warning party leadership to be wary of the way the party was being run. The release was signed by Jeremiah Akande, the Head of New Media and Public Affairs of Alao Akala Campaign Organisation. According to the release, “the former Governor of Oyo State and Gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives’ Congress in the State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, has called on the National Leadership of the Party, President Mohammadu Buhari and other Leaders of the party to come to the aid of the Oyo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress was on the brink of collapse, owing to the high-handedness and imposition of candidate on delegates who will vote at the Primary Election of the party.
“Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala wishes to state categorically and put the leadership of the party and the General Public on notice that Governor Abiola Ajimobi has perfected plans to impose one Joseph Olasunkanmi Tegbe on delegates as he has sent his foot soldiers around to coerce and Intimidate delegates to vote for the said Tegbe tomorrow at the party primaries against their free will.
“Akala, a true party man and committed loyalist to any cause he believes in wishes to state categorically that he is not a push over in the game of Politics and as a well grounded and groomed politician, who has occupied the number one seat of a Politically conscious state as Oyo State, will not be part of any move or attempt to subvert the true will and wishes of the people by the selfish interest of an Individual.
“The General Public should also note that Gov. Abiola Ajimobi has clandestinely offered Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala the Ministerial slot of Oyo State in an attempt to pitch him against Barr. Adebayo Shittu, an offer he has rejected in it’s entirety as he is not one to be tailored or shown the way round in the game of Politics.
“His Excellency, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala has, therefore, decided to “STAY AWAY” from tomorrow’s macabre dance taking place at a yet to be disclosed venue, due (sic) to the Insensitivity and selfishness of Gov. Abiola Ajimobi, who is hellbent on Imposing his stooge as his successor.
In view of the above, His Excellency has also directed that all his teeming supporters, well wishers and party faithful who believe in him should stay away from the sham taking place tomorrow and await further directives.”
In the political arena, Otunba (Dr) Adebayo Alao-Akala could be rightly described as a man with a Midas touch. He started his political career as a member of New Dimension, a political association of progressive young elements. He participated in the zero-party local government election of 1996 and later co-founded the UNP before its fusion with UNC to form UNCP. In the 1997 local government elections, Otunba Alao-Akala sponsored the chairmanship candidate and seven councilors to victory on the ticket of the UNCP. He participated in the Ogbomoso Federal Constituency (One) primary election of the UNCP in 1997. He contested and won the chairmanship seat of the Ogbomoso North Local Government along with seven councilors on the platform of APP in 1998. He was elected vice-chairman of ALGON, Oyo State Chapter between 1999 and 2002. A versatile and visionary political leader, Alao-Akala founded the Ogbomoso Unity Forum, a political association which later joined the PDP. He was the Executive Chairman of Ogbomoso North Local Government from 1999 to 2002.
A man of Destiny, Otunba (Dr) Adebayo popularly known as “Omo Iya Alaro” became the Deputy Governor of Oyo State from May 2003 to January 2006. To crown his efforts in life, the Almighty God, who directs the affairs of man, took Otunba Alao-Akala to the pinnacle of his political career when he became the Governor of Oyo State in January 2006, a position he occupied till May 2011.
On 8 December, 2014, Otunba (Dr) Adebayo Alao-Akala defected to the Labour Party in Oyo State owing to internal irregularities in his former party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). On 10 December, 2014, he formally declared his intention to re-contest the gubernatorial election of Oyo State on the platform of the Labour Party in the February 2015 general elections . During his declaration of intent, all other party’s gubernatorial aspirants stepped down for him, thereby making him emerge as the Labour Party’s gubernatorial standard bearer in Oyo State. On 16th December 2017, he formally defected to the ruling All Progressives’ Congress (APC) in a ceremony witnessed by a huge crowd in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State.
His Excellency, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala is a polyglot. He speaks English, Yoruba, Hausa, (Twi, Fanti and Dagbani, Ghanaian Languages) fluently.