They don’t call Bola TInubu the APC National Leader for nothing. Last Saturday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the presidential election in Oyo state. The margin was close, with less than 1500 votes separating the PDP and the APC, but even the governor of the state, Abiola Ajimobi, who was seeking election to the senate lost his race. It was clear that the APC was at risk of losing in next Saturday’s governorship poll.
So Bola Tinubu stepped in. He met with one of the strongest challengers in the race, former governor, Adebayo Alao-Akala, who was running on the platform of the Action Democratic Party’s (ADP), and someone he managed to convince him to drop his ambition. It is too early to tell if Tinubu’s intervention will take the APC across the finish line, but it was hard to see the party winning without it.
Backstory: In a statement signed by the Director General of the Akala Campaign Organization, Wale Ohu, Alao-Akala announced his withdrawal from the March 9 governorship race, pledging allegiance to All Progressives Congress’ (APC) candidate, Adebayo Adelabu. He said he made his decision after being approached by the National Leadership of the APC.
“Following the outcome of the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections, the Alao-Akala Campaign of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) has decided to go into an alliance with the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adebayo Adekola Adelabu, ahead of the March 9th governorship and state elections in the state,” he said.
What will this mean for ADP candidates running for state assembly?: According to the statement, “all Action Democratic Party (ADP) candidates contesting for the House of Assembly seats will go into the elections with the full support of His Excellency, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala.”
Alao-Akala, the perennial defector: Alao-Akala never tires of jumping parties. From the ANPP to the PDP to Labour Party to the APC to the PDP to ADP, and a couple more, the former governor always moves to wherever he considers the most convenient platform for his ambitions. In the buildup to this election, he was supposed to go into an alliance with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), African Democratic Party (ADC) and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in the state. He said that the alliance did not work due to a “clash in the personal interests of the candidates” from each party, which seemed to override the general interest of the people.
“Left with no other option upon being approached by the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) 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 its manifesto and the intervention of the presidency hinged on our performance at the last elections and grassroots network not only in Ogbomoso but also in other parts of the state, His Excellency, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala accepted to support Bayo Adelabu of the All Progressives Congress for the gubernatorial election,” the statement said.