Few hours after the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, officially confirmed the return of a former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, to the party, the latter on Thursday stormed the Bodija, Ibadan residence of his erstwhile deputy and former Governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala.
Makarfi had at the meeting of the party’s Board of Trustees also confirmed the return of former Social Democratic Party governorship candidate in Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, as well as Chief Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli, who was the running mate to Alao-Akala during the 2015 governorship election on the platform of the Labour Party.
Makarfi had warned intending returnees to hurry up, stressing: “While we reconcile and accommodate, we are not waiting for any individual to make up their mind.”
For the second week running now, Ladoja, who left the PDP for Accord 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 the then Action Congress of Nigeria.
Save for a former Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Hosea Ayoola Agboola, and former PDP Chairman, Chief Jacob Adetoro, who remained in the PDP, Alli, Alhaji Alli Dodo Oyedeji and a former lawmaker, Tunde Adegbenjo, headed to the then ACN.
The incumbent, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who has been the major beneficiary of the crack within the hitherto solid Oyo State PDP, jetted out of the country few days ago and met with both Alao-Akala and Folarin, with the social media agog with the details, regarded in the political circle as subtle move by the Governor to mend fence with the duo ahead of the 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 the PDP two weeks ago.
Folarin, a former Senate Leader, who, on arrival from London, said he has not left the PDP but on consultations across political divides, visited Ladoja earlier in the week for a closed door meeting as political permutation and intrigues get underway.
At Thursday’s meeting in Bodija, Alao-Akala was the first to visit Ladoja in his residence, but the latter was not around to receive him.
Shortly on return, Ladoja headed to Alao-Akala’s house, which was about a kilometer away, and had a two-hour closed door meeting with his erstwhile deputy.
Pictures of the visit showed Ladoja, Alao-Akala and others in frenzy mood as they wined and dined together to the consternation of their supporters.
A serving PDP lawmaker, Segun Odebunmi; Alhaji Ado Marafa; and erstwhile State Accord Chairman, Bashiru Lawal, among others watched with keen interest.
Before now, both Ladoja and Alao-Akala had been at loggerheads since January 12, 2006 when Ladoja was illegally removed from office to pave the way for Alao-Akala as Acting Governor and later elected Governor on the platform of the PDP.