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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Ogun 2023: Akinlade, Amosun’s Loyalists Dump APC For PDP

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All is not well with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun state as Adekunle Akinlade, the preferred candidate of former Governor Ibikunle Amosun on Friday officially joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to form an alliance with its governorship candidate in the state, Ladi Adebutu.

Reports indicate that Akinlade is embracing the opposition PDP with the incentive to become the running mate of Adebutu in the Ogun 2023 gubernatorial election.

An insider volunteered that Akinlade’s move seems a repayment for the goodwill of Adebutu who supported him during the 2019 electioneering campaigns after the PDP adopted late Senator Buruji Kashamu as its candidate for the poll in Ogun State.

It was gathered that the former lawmaker, who was the Allied Peoples Movement (APM)’s governorship flag bearer in the 2019 general election, blamed the lack of internal democracy and justice on the part of APC National Leadership for his decision to exit the ruling party.

Amid wild jubilation by PDP stakeholders and supporters on Friday, Akinlade and some supporters of Senator Amosun were received by Adebutu and PDP stakeholders at the Ogun State PDP Secretariat, IBB Boulevard, Magbon, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital around 12.30 pm

PDP insiders hinted that to tie the marriage, stakeholders had applied for waivers from the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) seeking Akinlade to run alongside Adebutu as the Deputy Governorship candidate in 2023.

With the deal already pulling through, the embattled APC chieftain is expected lead troops of Amosun’s supporters in the state to the main opposition party in a replay of the 2019 protestation that saw them promoting the interest of APM in the South West State.

Speaking on the development, Senator Amosun, who is representing Ogun Central in the Red Chamber, said no members of his camp would be stopped from defecting to another party, and attributed his current stance to alleged injustice within the ruling APC.

He however cautioned individuals or groups to refrain from using his name or political family for any political negotiations, even as also urged party supporters to stay focused on his unwavering commitment to the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

For now, among aggrieved APC members expected to embrace PDP with Akinlade are a former member of the House of Representatives in Obafemi/Owode Federal Constituency, Mukaila Kassim; former Chairman of Ado-Odo Ota Local Government, Rotimi Ramoni; and former Deputy Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Tola Banjo as well as an APC gubernatorial aspirant at the just concluded primaries, Biyi Otegbeye.

Competent sources said last-minute efforts by the APC National leadership led by the National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila to dissuade Akinlade and his group from joining the PDP were unsuccessful.

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