A former governor of Oyo State, Chief Rashidi Ladoja, waved a final bye to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday and formally announced his defection to the African Democratic Congress (ADC).
The move came barely a year after he rejoined the PDP from the Accord Party following extensive talks between him and PDP leaders.
But the former governor said the national leadership of PDP has been unfair to him despite his genuine intention to return to the party he jointly built and on whose ticket he governed the state between 2003-2007. Addressing supporters at his Bodija, Ibadan, residence, Ladoja recounted efforts by him to stabilize the PDP in the state and in the country, and said those sacrifices went unrecognized as he was sidelined by the party leadership in drawing up lists of candidates for ward, local government and state congresses.
Ladoja said he has now accepted the responsibility of facilitating the defection of serving and former governors and lawmakers across the country into the ADC.
He said:“the assignment that the delegation of ADC from Abuja gave me is that the governors that are planning to join ADC, that I should facilitate their defection to ADC. I may not always be around, but it is for the betterment of our party. This is because I am sure that the home front in the state is safe. Those at home are competent.
“The ADC and PDP have signed an agreement to present a joint presidential candidate. What we are seriously working on for now is that the presidential candidate should emerge from ADC.
“This will compel me to move to different parts of the country quickly so that ADC will hold the ace in other states, after we have conducted the congresses in Oyo State.
“As it is now, there is no ward in Oyo State that we don’t have presence. If possible, we should conduct our ward congress next Saturday. Registration will begin from now. If the ward congress is conducted on Saturday, the Saturday that will follow, we can also conduct local government congress, and the Saturday that will follow that one on August 18, we can conduct state congress.
“We need to conduct the congresses on time so that we would not contravene the guidelines set by INEC. It is not that we are in a haste, but time is no longer on our side with barely eight months to the general elections.
“By the grace of God, things will fall in proper places. I urge you all to cooperate with the leadership as we go through the process. Let us be more committed than we did in the past.”