Permutations Begin in Oyo as Ladoja, Akala, Folarin, Alli Meet Ahead of 2019

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Ademola Babalola in Ibadan

Few hours after the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, officially confirmed the return of a former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, to the party, the latter thursday stormed Bodija Ibadan residence of his erstwhile deputy and former Governor of the state, Adebayo Alao-Akala.

Makarfi had at the meeting of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) also confirmed the return of former Social Democratic Party Governorship candidate in the state, Seyi Makinde as well as Chief Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli, who was the running mate to Alao-Akala during the 2015 governorship election under the Labour Party.

Makarfi, had warned intending returnees to hurry up, stressingd that “while we reconcile and accommodate, we are not waiting for any individual to make up their mind.”

For the second week running, Ladoja who left PDP for Accord Party in 2011 had been hosting his erstwhile foot soldiers who served under him but deserted the camp due to irreconcilable political differences in 2011 to work for the success of then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

Save for a former Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Hosea Ayoola Agboola, and former PDP Chairman, Chief Jacob Adetoro, who remained in PDP, Sarafadeen Alli, Alhaji Alli Dodo Oyedeji and a former lawmaker, Tunde Adegbenjo, headed for then ACN.

The incumbent Governor, Ajimobi, who has been the major beneficiary of the crack within the hitherto solid Oyo PDP, jetted out of country few days ago.

Sources said before he said, he met with both Akala and Folarin with the social media agog of their meeting; regarded in the political circle as subtle move by the governor to mend fence with the duo ahead of impending 2019 race.

Makinde had also been meeting with Ladoja, and a few other bigwigs as he officially announced his defection from the SDP to PDP two weeks ago.

Folarin, a former Senate Leader, who on arrival from London told THISDAY on phone that he has not left PDP but on consultations across political divides, visited Ladoja 48hours ago for a closed door meeting as political permutation and intrigues get underway.

At yesterday meeting in Bodija, Akala was the first to visit Ladoja in his residence but the latter was not around to receive him. Shortly in return, Ladoja headed to Akala’s house, which was about a kilometer away and had two-hour closed door meeting with his erstwhile deputy.

Pictures of the visit showed Ladoja, Akala and others in frenzy mood as they wine and dine together to the consternation of their supporters. A serving PDP lawmaker, Segun Odebunmi; Alhaji Ado Marafa and erstwhile state Accord Party Chairman, Bashiru Lawal, among others watched with keen interest.

Before now, both Ladoja and Akala had been at loggerheads since January 12, 2006, when Ladoja was illegally removed from office to pave the way for Akala as acting governor and later elected governor on PDP platform.