There are indications on Friday that the All Progressives Congress in Oyo State and the Senator Rashidi Ladoja-led Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, in the state have initiated merger talks towards ousting the Governor Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party from the number one seat in the state.
The negotiation, which is said to be spearheaded by the Ladoja group, is targeted at working out a coalition of ZLP, PDP, the Social Democratic Party, the African Democratic Congress and a faction of the Alliance for Democracy.
It was gathered that sources within the ZLP confirmed that Ladoja approved of the meeting.
The meeting, which held at Premier Hotel Ibadan was attended by notable leaders from the APC and ZLP and had in attendance, former Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Adeolu Adeleke; Bimbo Adepoju, Waheed Akanbi, Alhaja Sherifat Yanimowo, Monisola Tegbe, Idowu Olaniyan, Koyejo Odetunde, Sule Adedokun, Kazeem Raji and the 2019 governorship candidate of ZLP, Sharafadeen Alli.
The APC team was also led to the crucial meeting by the Caretaker Chairman of the party in the state, Chief Akin Oke, with the representative of the Oyo Central senatorial district in the National Assembly, Teslim Folarin, Segun Odebunmi, representative of the Ogo-Oluwa/Surulere Federal Constituency, Akeem Adeyemi, representing Oyo federal constituency, and staunch loyalist of former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala.
In an interview with journalists after the meeting, an APC chieftain in the state, Wale Ohu, said there was nothing new about the meeting “because this is a season of consultations. The ZLP, symbolising the Ladoja group and the APC, led by our own party chairman, Chief Akin Oke, are here for deliberation and consultation.
“We are looking at a possibility of working together. We look at the possibility of making Oyo State better if we now work together. That is the paramount thing in our minds and that is the essence of the sitting. So, that was what we did today (Friday).”
When asked why Alao-Akala and Ladoja were absent at the meeting, he said, “The meeting is not about Alao-Akala and Ladoja. The meeting is about the APC as a party, which happens to have former Governor Alao-Akala as a member, and ZLP, which happens to have former Governor Ladoja as a member. So, the meeting was strictly between the APC and the ZLP. But the APC might be symbolic with Alao-Akala while the ZLP is symbolic with Ladoja.”
The former Speaker of the state House of Assembly and a chieftain of ZLP, Adeolu Adeleke, stated, “We are in the period of consultations. So, we came together to consult on the political future of the two political parties. While it is true that ZLP and APC met, I can say this rightly that Bodija (Ladoja) which is the umbrella of ZLP, is bigger than the party.
“There are many people that belong to Bodija (Ladoja), both in APC and PDP. So, it is just a conglomerate of ZLP and other loyalists of Senator Rashidi Ladoja. So, we came together to consult. We have not taken any decision to that effect. Then, in a couple of days to come, I believe that the meeting will also look at other political parties, including
“We have not taken the final decision. We are going to meet other political party and that is PDP. But, one thing I can tell you on a good note is that, at least, for now, from human perspective, it is either we belong to the PDP or we belong to APC at the end of the day.”