Chairman of the Action Democratic Party, ADP, in Oyo State, Chief Folaranmi Owolabi, has defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) with more than ten thousand members of his former party, on Thursday.
Citing alleged overbearing influence of a former Governor of the state and the governorship candidate of the ADP, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, the defectors said that they had no regrets taking the action barely 24 hours to the general election.
They also cited neglect of the state chapter by the national secretariat of the party, which they claimed had made them vulnerable, as part of their reasons.
Owolabi vowed to mobilize other defectors to campaign vigorously for the victory of the Oyo South Senatorial District candidate of the APC, Governor Abiola Ajimobi; state governorship candidate, Chief Adebayo Adelabu and other APC members.
The State Chairman of APC, Chief Akin Oke, who was represented by his Deputy, Hon. Lekan Adeyemo, received the former ADP members to the APC at the party’s state secretariat, Oke-Ado, Ibadan.
Since Alao-Akala defected from the APC to the ADP in October, last year, to clinch the party’s governorship ticket, Owolabi claimed said that the ex-governor had disrupted all the arrangements he met on ground.
He added that he was able to mobilize over ten thousand members of the ADP to the ruling APC because they had always seen the ruling party as better coordinated, fair and just in the way it handles issues involving members.
The embattled former chairman of the ADP and other aggrieved leaders had last December boycotted the public presentation of Alao-Akala as the party’s governorship candidate and his campaigns in protest.
Owolabi said, “Up till yesterday (Wednesday), I was the Oyo State chairman of the ADP; but, by the grace of God I and more than 10,000 members have dumped the ADP and we are now fully in APC.
“We were the foundation members of the ADP since the last two years. We nurtured the party to become a force to reckon with in Oyo State politics, which is what attracted the likes of Otunba Alao-Akala to come and join.”