2011: AKALA'S PURPORTED ENDORSEMENT, AN ILLUSION â€“EX-SPEAKER
Opposition within the already polarised Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State has dismissed last week's purported endorsement of Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala for second term by a faction loyal to him as mere charade and illusion. A former Speaker of the state House of Assembly and loyalist of former Governor, Rashidi Ladoja, Mr. Abraham Adeolu Adeleke, in a press statement in Ibadan, described the endorsement as 'an act of frustration,' aimed at hoodwinking the national leadership of the PDP in Abuja that all was well with the state PDP.
The state chapter of the party is split between the governor and a coalition of aggrieved party leaders including Ladoja; Senator Lekan Balogun; Yekini Adeojo; Senate Leader, Teslim Folarin and Elder Wole Oyelese.
A fragile peace deal worked out by a reconciliation panel raised by the national leadership of the party with Senator Ike Nwachukwu as chairman is being threatened by the factions' objections to some of the committee's recommendations.
Last Thursday's meeting of the party's Elders Forum, largely attended by Akala's loyalists, but boycotted by the opposition, had announced the adoption of the governor as the party's candidate in next year's governorship polls.
But, Adeleke, who led a group of the state lawmakers loyal to Ladoja when he was illegally impeached said: ' lt is no doubt that Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala wants to use the purported endorsement to deceive the PDP's top hierarchy in Abuja that his candidacy is widely accepted.
'This is far from the truth. No reasonable decision could be taken within PDP in Oyo State without the involvement of former governor, Rashidi Ladoja, Chief Yekini Adeojo, Senator Teslim Folarin, Elder Wole Oyelese, Hon.Ayo Adeseun, Hon.Fatai Buhari, Sen.Lekan Balogun and others.'
The statement reads thus: 'My attention has been drawn to the purported endorsement of Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala for the second term by the PDP Oyo State Chapter. The purported endorsement is a charade, deceit, illusion and an act of frustration.
'It would be recalled that Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala convened a meeting of present and former political office holders in the state at the Government Banquet Hall on Thursday, April 8, 2010 with a view to discussing issues concerning the PDP in the state. It was after the invitees had taken some drinks that the purported endorsement took place. The people that carried out the purported endorsement have no mandate to do so. Where did they derive their authority from? They only played to the gallery, the statement read further.
'The attempt by Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala to use the meeting that he convened to carry out his purported endorsement is laughable and premeditated. This is a replica of what we witnessed during the Abacha regime when some people were offered money for the endorsement of General Sani Abacha at the presidential villa, Abuja.
'I want to advise His Excellency, Otunba Alao-Akala to use external mechanism to find out his popularity and acceptability among the good people of Oyo State before he can be talking of a second term in office. The people that attended the meeting with him in the Government Banquet Hall have pecuniary interests and therefore, cannot tell him the truth at this point in time.