Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
With just a few months to the gubernatorial primary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State, a former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, was asked to run again in 2019 by political associates in the party and from across other political divides in the state.
Several hundreds of such people under the umbrella of Akala Support Group (ASG) thursday stormed the Banquet Hall of the Premier Hotel in Ibadan and rose in unison that â€œonly the former governor has solutions to the excruciating poverty ravaging the land.â€
They have therefore called on him, to with immediate effect, declare his intention to contest the governorship election in the state without further delay.
The group in a communique issued shortly after its public discourse under the chairmanship of a renowned educationist, Dr. Fola Akinosun, declared that the need to pressurise the ex-governor to come out again in 2019 was to satisfy the yearnings of the people of the state so that â€œthe humane and infrastructural development that the people witnessed during his tenure in the first term could be repeated again.â€
Those who spoke at the discourse included Adekunle Adebowale who said the political arena has been saturated with a large number of aspirants, â€œhence it has become expedient to chart a course for the way forward and take a united position to further the course of the group.â€
Others were a veteran labour leader and former Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Olu Abiala; one time Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Amuda Babatunde; Oloye Agbo Adeyemo; a former Commissioner for Industry in the state, Mrs. Kemi Jayeoba Olorunsogo; ex-Commissioner for Health, Dr. Gbola Adetunji, a women leader, Mrs. Falilat Adeyemo and a host of others across the five geopolitical zones of the state.
The group in the communique, urged Ajimobi of the state and the APC to present Alao-Akala for the election, stressing that the only joker for any political party in the state is to present him (Alao-Akala) in the 2019 elections.
The communique read: â€œThat to satisfy the yearnings of the people in the state, it is imperative to make a clarion call on Alao-Akala to contest in the governorship election of Oyo State in 2019, so that the succour, humane posture, economic activities, infrastructural development that was once entrenched in governance of the state during his past tenure could be repeated with renewed vigour. The earlier mentioned criteria suits him best.
â€œThat the joker to winning the 2019 Oyo governorship by any political platform is to present Alao-Akala because of serious yearnings for him by the generality of people in state.
â€œThat there is need to locate the right person for Oyo governorship election in 2019. Someone who can increase the pacesetting bar of the state, someone who will sustain, equally re-order both social and political development of the state.
â€œThat for a way forward in Oyo State in 2019 governorship election, there is a need to separate the chiff from the chaff out of the gubernatorial aspirants as it is presently an all comers affairs, where political lilliputians are gladiating without individuals who have high pedigree in governance.â€