Noticeable misunderstanding is brewing amidst loyalists of a former Oyo state governor; Chief Rashidi Ladoja as some of his associates and supporters have been reported to have been in continuous negotiation with varying political parties and groups.
The possible party of defection has been the underlining problem which currently bedevils the Ibadan political stalwart as his loyalist are divided into either moving into the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) or the main Opposition in the state; All progressives Party (APC).
Sources close to Ladoja claimed that he is displeased with the uninspiring performances of the ZLP in the 2019 general elections nationwide. There exist strong indications that all is not well within Ladoja’s immediate political family and the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), sources disclosed.
“He joined the ZLP with very high hopes. But as I speak with you today, he is dissatisfied with the party’s lackluster performance in elections.
“It is a fact that we want to move to a party where we can be better positioned to participate in elections with the chances of emerging victorious. It is not enough to always wait for big parties we can form alliances with during elections. Ladoja is a big political figure. He is currently the biggest political entity in Oyo State today. It is not advisable for him to remain in the ZLP with the huge followership he enjoys across the state. He has the political clout and reach. What is needed is a virile political platform and that is what we seek,” an ally told newsmen on Saturday.
Recall that few days to the 2019 gubernatorial election in the state, Ladoja’s ZLP joined two other opposition political parties to collapse their governorship aspirations to support Governor Seyi Makinde, who was then flying the PDP flag, as their consensus candidate for the March 9 election.
Coming under a coalition, the parties, namely the ZLP, African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), said they arrived at the decision after a crucial meeting.
Olufemi Lanlehin, the ADC gubernatorial candidate of the ADC was the first to opt out of the coalition. he had said uncomfortable with Makinde’s disposition to the coalition agreement. Lanlehin said in a statement that he had opted out because of Makinde’s non-compliance with the spirit and letter of the terms of the pre-election agreement. He, however, said his party, the ADC, is at liberty to remain in the coalition, and believes it should, in fact, remain.
Last week, the 2019 governorship candidate of ZLP, Sharafadeen Alli, and other delegates from the party in the state met with the APC to discuss merger.
Ladoja’s men at the meeting included the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content, Teslim Folarin, representing Oyo Central Senatorial District; two members of the House of Representatives, Segun Odebunmi, representing Ogo-Oluwa/Surulere Federal Constituency and Akeem Adeyemi, representing Oyo Federal Constituency. Former Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Adeolu Adeleke, was also there.
Few days later, Governor Seyi Makinde and the Chairman, Governor’s Advisory Council, Senator Hosea Agboola, received some loyalists of Ladoja at Government House. Led by the state chairman of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Comrade Wole Abisoye, they pledged allegiance to Makinde and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
And while observers were still wondering what was happening, the Secretary of the ZLP in Oyo State, Bimbo Adepoju, added to the confusion when he said Ladoja and a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, are holding talks. The party scribe said Ladoja was unaware of the defection of the former chairman and others to the PDP. “We are here to look at the recent developments in our party, especially the defection of our chairman to the PDP. He joined the PDP without the consent of our father and leader, Chief Rashidi Ladoja, and other leaders of the party,” he said.
Following the plan of the two factions in Oyo Zenith Labour Party to decamp to the All Progressives Congress and People’s Democratic Party respectively, the Secretary of the Party in Oyo State who is also one of the Leaders of the faction that is set to decamp to the APC, Hon. Bimbo Adepoju recently revealed that the Ayodele Fayose faction of the South West PDP will meet with Senator Rashidi Ladoja soon and that this development is in consideration too.
On whether the Fayose meeting will affect the talks with the APC, he simply replied ” let them come first”.