….Traders, Market Women Pledge Unflinching Support
It was like home coming for the former governor of Oyo State and gubernatorial candidate of Labour Party in the state, Otunba Adebayo Akala when his campaign train berthed at Iware, Fiditi, Akinmorin, Awe and Oyo town to solicit the support of the people of the area in the February 28 governorship election.
The shrewd politician in a convoy of over 200 vehicles from Ibadan engaged the people of Afijio and Oyo town in a door-to-door campaign exercise which culminated in a rally at the Oyo township stadium at about 6:30pm on Friday with pomp and ceremony.
The Oyo township stadium erupted in frenzy when the governorship candidate of Labour Party arrived in a motorcade. The atmosphere was devoid of rancor as supporters and admirers of the ‘Owambe’ Governor danced and sang praises of his achievements during his first shot at the coveted post of number on citizen of the pace-setter state.
Just like in Iware where the campaign train had its first berth at about 11 am and other places visited, Alao-Akala made it abundantly clear that he was not a stranger to the people of Oyo Town, stressing that he would never disappoint them if given the opportunity to come back as governor in the next governorship election.
He said he would provide a better alternative to the present administration in the state through people-oriented policies. The charismatic governorship candidate however, reminded the people of the state that he had left PDP for Labour, stressing that his supporters should vote for him at the poll under the Labour Party.
He explained that the party symbolizes a family tie with the picture of a mother, father and a child on the logo of the party. He however, pledged to improve on both the social and economic infrastructure in the state to make life more meaningful for the people. ’’Our administration is going to be for the masses’’, he said, adding that the general wellbeing of the people of the state would be of paramount importance to him.
He said education would be his priority as teachers’ welfare would be a focal-point of his administration.
He also pledged to ensure that good roads were constructed across the length and breadth of the state. ‘’we’ve done it before and we shall do it again’ ’he said. As the entire stadium that was filled to capacity erupted in frenzy with the shout of ‘’Akala Ni Joor; Akala for Governor; Oyato Governor’’ rented the air.
Both young and old; market women and traders lined up the major street of Iware in Afijio local government area patiently awaiting the arrival of Alao-Akala and his team in the rusty town. On sighting him in a motorcade, they jumped up for joy, dancing and singing songs to acknowledge his achievements when he was governor of the state.
In reciprocation, the highly excited governorship candidate danced to the admiration of his supporters who had trooped out in their thousands to welcome him into their midst. He told the people of Iware that he would not disappoint them if they voted for him at the next general election in February.
He reminded them that the road in Iware leading to Akinmorin was constructed by his administration when he was governor of the state. Alao-Akala also reminded the people of Iware that the Oba’s palace road was also tarred by his administration, promising to do even more if given the opportunity.
He however, pledged to be accessible as always, noting that he would always make himself available and accessible to them to know their problems and find solutions to them. ‘’You did not come to me before I constructed this road for you’’, he said, adding ‘’I’ll not be like some people who beg for your votes and thereafter you’ll not see them again’’.
From the town junction where Otunba Alao-Akala addressed the people, he went straight to the house of second republic parliamentarian, Chief Pekun Adesokan. Chief Adesokan who was proud to receive the former governor and his entourage in his modest house prayed for the electoral success of Alao-Akala and other members of the party contesting at the next general election. The former Deputy Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly in 1999 pledged his people’s continued support for Alao-Akala.
Chief Adesokan noted that Alao-Akala was well reputed for his generosity, stressing that he was in full support of his election as governor of the state. He pointed out that the people of the state enjoyed his reign as governor between 2007 and 2011. He said Alao-Akala’s good works had continued to speak for him before the down-trodden in the state. ‘’I cannot forget what you did when you were governor, therefore, I can assure you of my support’’, said the Octogenarian politician.
The campaign train went through the major street of Fiditi in a road show culminating in a rally at the De Plaza Haruna, a popular hotel in Oyo town where the Labour governorship candidate addressed the party faithful and supporters. He also used the opportunity to reaffirm the candidacy of other members of the party in the next election.
He enjoined the people of Oyo town to vote for him for governor and Kamil Akinlabi as House of Representatives member and Olu Abiala for Senate. Hardly had he said this that the crowd erupted in frenzy again as the shout of ‘’A o le sin Baba, Ki a tun sin omo’’ rented the air. The Street Journal reliably gathered that the crowd was making reference to the candidacy of Alaafin’s son, Prince Adeniyi Adeyemi as a House of Representatives candidate under the platform of APC.
It was further learnt that Prince Adeyemi’s candidacy of APC precipitated Kamil’s defection to Labour Party sequel to his defeat at the primary of the party in controversial circumstances. It was further gathered that the development had created a big gulf between Kamil Akinlabi and Alaafin, Oba Adeyemi who had insisted that his son be given the slot into the lower house in Abuja at the next dispensation while Kamil be persuaded to step down.
From De Paza Haruna in Oyo, the Alao –Akala campaign train moved to Ilora where all the major streets in the town were toured by the long convoy of the Labour Party in a road show to the admiration of the residents.
The next port of call was Akinmorin town where the Alao-Akala campaign team paid homage to the Oba of the ancient town in his palace. The visitors who were well received by the Amoorin of Akinmorin, Oba Iyiola Solomon Akingbehin and his chiefs did not mince words in declaring his support for the candidacy of Alao-Akala as governor in the February election.
The Chiefs had taken turn to eulogize the former governor and made requests for his assistance when he became governor in the next election. They expressed confidence in the Alao-Akala’s capability to make things work again in the state.
The Oba of Akinmorin in his speech thanked Alao-Akala for taking the pains to visit the town on a campaign voyage. He said his town stood to benefit more under an Alao-Akala administration, hence his resolve to support him as the next governor of the state. ‘’it pays me to support a candidate that I know will help my town and my people than to support somebody who will not be of any benefit to me and my people’’, he said.
Likening the visit of the politician to his palace to the story of Sacius in the Bible, the traditional ruler enthused that ‘’today, salvation has come to you in your quest to realize your ambition of becoming governor of this state one more time’’.
The traditional ruler however, prayed for the success of Alao-Akala and other candidates of the party at the next general polls. He however, added that ‘’in Afijio, I can assure you that you can go and sleep with your two eyes closed as you don’t have any problem here’’.
The story was not in any way different in Awe town where the team was also received by the Alaawe of Awe, Oba Cornelius Abiola Taiwo in his palace. Alao-Akala had solicited the support of the people of the town for his election as candidate of Labour Party in the next governorship election. He also presented other candidates of the party in the House of Representatives and Senate to the Oba and his chiefs.
In his response, the Alaawe of Awe noted that he was not in oblivion of the developments in the area concerning political maneuverings taking place in the state. Speaking philosophically, he told Kamil Akinlabi to rest on the power of God that’s above all powers.
‘’We hear about what is happening around here. We hear about what they do every day. But I want you to have trust in the power of God’’, he said. He commended the former governor of the state for the good works he did when he was governor, stressing that the good lord would crown his efforts with success in his quest to be governor of Oyo state come May 29, 2015.