Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
The residence of a former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, was a beehive of activities yesterday as two former Governors of Osun and Ondo States, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Olusegun Mimiko respectively, paid him separate visits as the crisis in the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) unsettled permutations in Ladojaâ€™s camp ahead of 2019 elections.
While Oyinlola, an arrowhead of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), was with Ladoja as early as 9a.m., Mimiko, now a Labour Party (LP) member, came midway into their meeting and was asked to stay in one of the chalets pending the completion of discussions between Ladoja and Oyinlola.
At the parley Ladoja held with his visitors were three gubernatorial aspirants; Chief Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin and Dr. Nureni Adeniran. Others in the two meetings were the former state Chairman of Accord Party (AP), Alhaji Bashiru Lawal; a former Attorney General in the state, Bayo Lawal, and PDP chieftains like Asiwaju Yemi Aderibigbe, Bimbo Adepoju among others.
Last week, the National Working Committee (NWC) in Abuja harmonised Oyo State PDP executives against the interest of Ladojaâ€™s camp, and the former reacted with a seven-day ultimatum within which the party should reverse the decision or they should leave the state PDP. The ultimatum elapsed today.
The leaders were not forthcoming when journalists sought to know what transpired as both Oyinlola and Mimiko said they were on private visits to their brother, Ladoja. Their host equally rebuffed journalists.
However, a source privy to the meetings confirmed that the former governors, having been aware of the crisis in PDP, came to woo Ladoja to either ADC or LP.
The meetings were not unconnected with the permutation of the major opposition parties in the Southwest ahead of the 2019 general election, another source said.