Hundreds of members of the Labour Party in Osun State, including the party’s governorship aspirant, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, on Tuesday, defected to the major opposition party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party, vowing to take over reins of governance from the ruling All Progressives Congress in next year’s governorship election.
The defection followed moves by the Caretaker Committee of the PDP to woo Akinbade and other members of the Labour Party in the state to return to the PDP.
Asking Akinbade to forgive the party and give way for the reconciliation of past differences, the Chairman of the PDP Caretaker Committee, Ahlaji Sarafadeen Ishola, said there was a need for those who had left the party to return if PDP would defeat APC in the August 2018 poll.
Ishola, while addressing members of the LP and PDP at Akinbade’s residence, said the opposition party had visited the former National Secretary of PDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, to seek his forgiveness, disclosing that Oyinlola forgave the party for the injustice meted out on him.
According to Ishola, “We are here today to BRG Oluomo (Akinbade). There is bound to be offences in politics. So, our brother, Alhaji Akinbade, forgive us and return to PDP. There has never been any party that ruled Nigeria for 16 years since independence in 1960. We need to reconcile our differences.
” Osun people are clamouring for transformation and 2018 is vital in Osun. The people are already asking for the exit of APC and we shouldn’t disappoint them. We shouldn’t disobey the people of Osun. We will still beg other people like the SSG and commissioners.”
In his reaction, Akinbade said that himself and other aspirants as well as LP members had agreed to join PDP to ensure the defeat of the APC in the state.
The former Secretary to the Osun State Government said he dumped PDP in February 2014, saying he was ready to return to the party alongside his numerous supporters.
While noting that LP would meet and issue a formal release on its defection, he said if the party had not supported late Adeleke’s younger brother during the Osun West bye-election, PDP might not have defeated the ruling APC.
“PDP is the only solution to Osun challenges. Osun people will not be happy with us if we should misuse this opportunity of this election. To prevent the APC from rigging this governorship election, we need to decrease APC’s numerical strength,” Akinbade said..
Meanwhile, all the members of the LP in the state have publicly declared their resolve to defect to the PDP.