Senator Teslim Folarin of Oyo Central Senatorial District has said that his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is waxing stronger day-by-day to take-over power from the fumbling and wobbling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government in Oyo State in 2023.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Local Content, who made the statement while receiving Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) structure in Olorunsogo local government area of Oyo State, assured the leadership of the defecting party that both the old and new members of the APC have equal rights.
In his words: “We will do our best to strengthen the party and take the message of this party to the betrayed, maltreated and aggrieved members of the ruling PDP”.
The three-term Senator commended the new members for their decision to join what he called the progressive train, assuring them that the party would do its best to give them a sense of belonging.
“Even as you are just joining us, we have accepted you as part and parcel of the APC and we will not discriminate against you. On behalf of all our leaders, I assure that you will not regret joining the APC. We shall work together like brothers and sisters to ensure that APC is greater than what it is in Oyo state,” he said.
Folarin while noting that all governorship aspirants on the platform of APC have the wherewithal to lead Oyo State, implored the new members to show commitment and give their best in order to ensure rancour-free party congresses as well as victory for the party in 2023 elections.
Speaking for and on behalf of executives, stakeholders and over 7,000 members of ZLP in Irepo LGA, the party Chairman, Alhaji Kolawole Yunus noted that they have tested the two major political parties in the state but decided to move to APC in compliance with the Samonda declaration. Alhaji Kolawole added that Irepo ZLP moved to APC enmasse due to the failure of Governor Seyi Makinde to honour the 2019 coalition agreement. Key ZLP leaders with Alhaji Kolawole at Kishi Town Hall, venue of the event, included Hon. Ameen Ganiyu, Mr. Rufus Alabi, Alhaji Mufutau Iman, Hon. Razaq Ike, Hon. Rafiu Oganla, Hon. Raji Ibrahim, Hon. Fatia Mustapha, Mrs. Akeem Fasila (Women Leader), Mrs. Sekinat Owoade, Hon. Hassan Asimi among others.
Joining Senator Folarin to receive defectors were immediate past executive Chairman of Irepo, Hon. Asifu Sulaimon; former council chairman, Hon. D.A Fadairo; Leader Gbemisade Adeniyi; Leader G.S Amodu, Leader Prince Muhammedah, Hon. Awoyale Yekeen, and all party executives from local to ward levels. Also in attendance were all immediate past councillors, all immediate past secretaries, all immediate past secretaries and all ward youth leaders led Hon. Yunus Olawoyin.
Recall that on March 2, 2021, the Oyo State chapter of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) collapsed its structures throughout the state into APC. The historical collapse of structure was announced at an enlarged meeting held at the State Party Secretariat, situated at Samonda Ibadan. The gathering included members of ZLP, the African Democratic Congress (ADC) Mega Party of Nigeria and other loyalists of a former Governor of the State, Senator Rasheed Ladoja.
The decision was contained in an eight-point communique read after the meeting and was jointly signed by Kola Olaniyan, Bimbo Adepoju, Sarafadeen Alli, Waheed Akanbi, Adeolu Adeleke, Kazeem Raji, A I M Olaniyan, Monisola Tegbe, Serifat Tanimowo, Kola Olabiyi and Wahab Oyelade.
They agreed and directed all ZLP members and Ladoja political group to henceforth terminate all Ward, Local Government or Exco meetings as well as immediately start attending APC meetings at their respective wards and councils.
The Oyo ZLP premised its collapse of structure on high waves of insecurity in Oyo State, excessive borrowing and lack of visionary leadership on the part of Governor Seyi Makinde.
On his first day in Oke-Ogun Zone 2, Senator Folarin paid homages to Okere of Saki, HRM Oba Khalid Olabisi Ilugbemidepo Ayinla-Ado in Saki West LGA; The Iba of Kisi, HRM Oba M.O Lawal Arowoduye II in Irepo LGA; and Onigbeti of Igbeti, HRM Oba Emmanuel Oyekan Oyebisi in Olorunsogo, before meeting with leaders of APC in Olorunsogo Irepo, and Oorelope LGAs. He preached peace and harmony before, during and after the party congresses.
Just like in Kishi, Igeti, Oyo and Ogbomoso, Senator Folarin was well received in the ancient town of Igboho by immediate executive chairman of Oorelope LGA, Hon. Samuel Okunlade Ododo, Hon. Adeniyi Adekunle, Elder Omomonigbeyin, Hon. Jimoh Mustapha, Alhaji Amuda and among other leaders
On the entourage of the Chairman Senate Committee on Local Content were Alhaji Mufutau Adisa Gbayawu, Alhaji M.K.O Olaoye, Alhaji Kamorudeen Ajisafe, Akilapa, Alhaji Audu Marafa, Alhaji Waheed Akinleye, Chief Lowo Obisesan, Chief Adegboyega Adegoke, Alhaji Shina Alabi, Alhaji Kayode Adanla, Hon. Akeem Olatunji Akogun, former OYSHA Chief Whip Rt. Hon. Murphy Adigun, Hon. Akin Ali, Hon. D.A Lawal.
Others are Hon. Adegoke, Alhaji Yinka Folarin, Alhaji Remi Adeleke, Hon. Biliaminu Ogundele, Barr. Biodun Akaje, Hon. Kola Amoo, Hon. Akeem Ila, Mogaji Afolabi Adesina, Hon. Kabiru Alarape K.K among other notable party stakeholders.