Late former governor Lamidi Adesina’s personal assistant, Alhaji Fatai Ibikunle, and some members of the break-away faction of the All Progressives Congress in Oyo State, The Unity Forum, have bowed to pressure from the national leadership of the APC and resolved to team up with their former party to ensure victory for Chief Adebayo Adelabu in this Saturday gubernatorial election in the state.
The Forum, which is made of many aggrieved Oyo APC faithful, had broken away in the wake of crises which engulfed the ruling party during its Congresses in May last year. It is also recalled that members of the Unity Forum later scattered as most of them landed in popular opposition parties such as African Democratic Congress (ADC), Action Democratic Party (ADP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But the fall-out of the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections which clearly indicated that Oyo APC might be facing a difficult task in its desire to produce another executive governor as a successor to Senator Abiola Ajimobi had sent a signal to the national leadership of the APC which swung into action immediately the results were announced by calling for a truce among the warring factions.
In an emergency meeting held on Tuesday at a private location in Ibadan, leaders and members of the Forum unanimously considered the reports of a delegation which had earlier met with Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu and agreed to unite for the sake of peace and progress of the pacesetters state.
According to the leader of the delegation which recently had an interface with Tinubu in Lagos home, all the issues that led to the schisms within the Oyo APC were presented and treated accordingly while far reaching agreement were reached by both parties with a view to facilitating victory for the APC gubernatorial candidate, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, on Saturday.
“Immediately after the February 23 elections, serious-minded stakeholders across party line took stock and realized that no group or political party was in a vantage position to win the March 9 gubernatorial poll. The APC, at the national level, also discovered the need for urgent realignment and reconciliation with the estranged Unity Forum became an option for the good of the entire state.
“The unanimous decision is that we will all mobilize across the geo-political zones of Ibadan, Oke-Ogun, Ogbomoso, Oyo and Ibarapa to actualize the dream of Oyo State not falling into opposition for obvious reasons. Although majority of us are not hitherto in the APC, the agreement takes good care of our members who hold either ADC or ADP tickets for House of Assembly but detail of this will be made public later.” Ibikunle stated.
Notable party chieftains at the meeting include; Alhaji Isiaka Alimi, Dr. Hammed Ayinla (Oyo ADC Chairman), Dr. Adebayo Adewusi, Chief ‘Goke Oyetunji, Chief Tijani Balogun, Alh. Lekan Kazeem, Engr. Azeez Adeoye, Elder Egbetokun, Chief Sunday Owoade, Chief Emmanuel Oyewusi, Hon. Lasun Adebunmi, Alh. Remi Sodiq, Hon. Bola Fawole, Alh. Saka Kareem, Prince Blade Olanisebe, Mrs Victoria Adegbuyi, Alh. Sikiru Anibire, Alh. Ganiyu Alade, Hon. Kayode Obisesan, Hon. Abiodun Alade, Chief Mathew Fashola among others.