A former deputy governor, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, has declared full support for Governor Seyi Makinde’s re-election.
Though OYOINSIGHT.COM understands that Makinde is his 18th month of possible 48 months in office, Arapaja, who formally defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, after his failed governorship bid in the African Democratic Congress, ADC, stressed that Makinde deserves full support of all and sundry for the re-election to be realized.
Arapaja, who was former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala’s deputy, yesterday led his followers to rejoin the ruling PDP in his local government of Ibadan South East.
The event, which took place at Christ Church Primary School, Odinjo, Ibadan, saw the returnees, who had earlier joined the party at a mega rally organized by the party at Mapo Hall in March 2020, coming together again.
Speaking further, Arapaja said that they took the decision to return to the party after a critical review of the present administration and with the obvious steady and development being experienced in the State, they are left with no other option than to return to the PDP.
The former house of representatives’ member added that the PDP as a party, has brought a new paradigm shift in the governance of the state in the area of road infrastructure, free education, health care delivery, prompt payment of workers’ salaries on or before the 25th of every month, payment of backlog of pension for retired civil servants and other initiatives which have brought succour to many residents in the State.
He appealed to members to embrace true and genuine reconciliation in the party.
According to him, “reconciliation is very important in the party. The governor realized this and that is why he set up a reconciliation committee headed by Chief Saka Balogun. There must not be any faction or group whatsoever. We are back again in PDP. We are grassroot politicians. The opposition will never return to power in Oyo State. We must unite and mobilize others to the party to achieve this.”
Other returnees at the event included the special adviser to the governor on culture and tourism, Hon. Akeem Ademola Ige, Hon. Fatai Adesina, Hon. Dele Ojo, Hon. Adedoja Ekolo, Hon. Sunday Babatunde. Hon. Deji Aboderin, who was the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate for Ibadan South East/North East federal constituency election in 2019 election and Hon. Yinka Omikunle from Zenith Labour Party, ZLP.
While welcoming the returning and new members at the gathering, the chairman of the party in the council area, Engr Sulaimon Adesina, described Arapaja and other returnees as heavyweights and great political assets to the party, advising them to work more for uplifting the party in the state.
In their goodwill messages, Hon. Dare Adeleke, Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha and others specifically described the event as home coming for the returnees, explaining that they have further increased the ranks of the party to become an indomitable force in the state.
Among those in attendance to welcome the returnees to the PDP fold were the former first Lady in Oyo State, Alhaja Mutiat Olayinka Ladoja, who represented the Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde State. Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Tiamiyu Abidikugu.
Others included member of the federal House of representatives, Hon. Abass Agboworin, Hon. Rasaq Abdulahi, Hon. Segun Popoola, Hon. Yay Akinbile, Alhaji Gbade Adeleke, Mogaji Abass Oloko, Alhaji Dauda Yusuff, Hon. Yemi Aderibigbe, special adviser to the Governor on local government and chieftaincy affairs, Hon. Babatunde Oduyoye, Special Adviser on Political Matters among others.