The palpable tension pervading the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Oyo State over governorship candidate of the party gave way late on Friday, as the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party replaced Dr Bamidele Ajadi’s name with that of Senator Olufemi Lanlehin.
The name of Dr Ajadi, who is the national vice-chairman of the party, was tentatively submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the party to beat the deadline for the conduct of primaries, following the initial stalemate over who should fly the party’s flag.
The development sparked jubilation among supporters and members of ADC, as the news that Lanlehin’s name had been taken to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the real governorship candidate of the party filtered through the state.
Dr Ajadi confirmed, whose name was removed, confirmed the development to Sunday Tribune, saying that Lanlehin’s name had been sent to INEC as the authentic ADC governorship candidate in the state for 2019 election.
“It is true that Senator Olufemi Lanlehin has replaced Dr Bamidele Ganiyu Ajadi as ADC governorship candidate for 2019 election in Oyo State. Senator Olufemi Lanlehin’s name is now with the INEC headquarters in Abuja,” he said.
The development, it was gathered, followed the conclusion of processes connected to the substitution of candidates, though the substitution window, according to INEC guidelines, remains open till December 1.
It was learnt that the speedy conclusion of Lanlehin’s name substitution allayed fears being expressed among party faithful.
While reacting to the development, Media Assistant to Lanlehin, Mr Damola Adeoye, said calm had returned to the ADC family since the substitution was successfully done, expressing the thankfulness of Lanlehin to ADC national and state leaders, members and his supporters across the 33 local government councils of the state for their support at all the stages of the nomination process.
The media aide said the victory would allow the gubernatorial candidate and ADC to now concentrate efforts on electioneering campaign and strategy, assuring that the journey to electoral victory had begun.
Adeoye appealed to the group of aggrieved aspirants to drop their opposition, withdraw the suit filed in court and join hands with the leaders and Lanlehin to jointly achieve the goal of installing a people’s government in 2019.
He assured them that Lanlehin would run an all-inclusive government where all interests would be taken care of, adding that there was no victor, no vanquished in the matter.
Meanwhile, stakeholders have slated for tomorrow, a mini welcome rally to usher in Senator Lanlehin into the state.
A statement from the stakeholders said the rally would begin at the Samonda office of Lanlehin Campaign Organisation with all the party’s candidates expected to mobilise for the rally.