The All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate in Ogun State, Abiodun Akinlade, on Thursday defected to the Allied Peoples Movement (APM).
Akinlade, who represents Egbado South and Ipokia federal constituency of Ogun, had lost the governorship ticket of the APC to Dapo Abiodun despite all efforts put in place by the state Governor, Ibikunle Amosun to make him secure it.
In a statement explaining his decision, Akinlade said he recalled the events before and after the Ogun governorship primary.
The lawmaker insisted that he won the election and that his ticket was stolen by powerful forces in the APC.
It read: “My dear good people of Ogun State, you will recall that the APC in our state has been rocked by crisis since the October 02 gubernatorial primaries. I feel obliged to inform you about recent political developments in our dear state and the resolution of the overwhelming majority of members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
“Prior to the 2nd October 2018 Party primary election, I had emerged the Ogun West Consensus Candidate out of the 10 aspirants who indicated interest in the ticket after far reaching consultations by Ogun West Elders Council and the by-in of elders, leaders, stakeholders and party faithfuls of the other two Senatorial districts of Ogun Central and Ogun East. In line with the resolution of the Party to zone its gubernatorial slot to Ogun West Senatorial district, I was presented to the entire State Party Executive Committee and stakeholders who in turn ratified my candidature at the well-attended event.
“However, in spite of my emergence in accordance with the Constitution and guidelines of the APC, which allows for Consensus candidature, some aspirants insisted on direct primary election, which in the true spirit of democracy, the party acceded to.
“The Party held its only direct governorship primary on 02 October 2018 and I was elected with an emphatic 190,987 out of the 201,620 votes cast in the exercise.
“My victory was historic because by the special grace of God and overwhelming support of our people, members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) across the State trooped out in their thousands to cast their votes despite deliberate attempts to frustrate them by keeping our party faithfuls in sun for three days running.
“I shall remain ever grateful to the members of the party for the faith and confidence they reposed in my candidature.
“However, events since that historic primary election, and reminiscent of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election of Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola, point at a deliberate attempt to hijack the mandate freely given to me, by the National Chairman in conspiracy with some leaders in the South West zone who are determined to bring Ogun State under their control by all means.
“We have since explored all available party and political means to restore the mandate freely given to me by overwhelming Party faithfuls and supporters in APC Ogun State after waiting to the very last day for any resolution of the avoidable self inflicted crisis.
“Despite our efforts, the anti-democratic forces behind the plot remain unyielding, determined, obstinate and belligerent. All efforts to make them see reason and respect the wish of the people have fallen on deaf ears.
“The outcome of the National Assembly and State Assembly primaries in which our supporters won ALL the available 38 legislative tickets as against their preferred candidates who won none, has still not convinced them that they are riding a dead horse towards the 2019 elections. Let me use this opportunity to commend members of the APC who in spite of all provocations remain calm and peaceful while keeping our dream of a great Ogun State alive.
“In the face of all of these, it has become imperative to listen to the counselling of our elders, leaders and respect the wishes of our teeming party faithfuls and supporters that it is time to move to another platform to keep their political aspirations alive, having exhausted all available avenues for amicable political settlement.
“Our commitment to continue the great work for the development of Ogun State, which started under His Excellency, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, should not be compromised.
“The great exploits in the areas of infrastructure development, direct foreign investment, youth employment, agriculture, health and cultural re-awakening which the state has witnessed since May 2011 should not be abandoned. Our commitments to the welfare of the good people of Ogun State MUST remain eternal.
“It is therefore my honour and pride to announce that in obedience to the wish of the overwhelming majority of Party faithfuls in APC, Ogun State, I, Hon. Adekunle Abdulkabir Akinlade, will be contesting for the office of Governor of Ogun State on the platform of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM). I have duly resigned my membership of the APC on Wednesday, 28 November 2019. I hereby implore our teeming supporters and members of the APC in Ogun State to move to the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) immediately.
“I wish to state very loudly and clearly that we appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari who remains the leading voice of reason, justice, fairness, equity and democratic tenets in the APC. We also appreciate the lofty achievements he has recorded as the President of Nigeria since assumption of office on 29th May 2015. Therefore, we are committed to his second term in office and shall use all resources at our disposal to work for his victory at the presidential election come 2019.
“I wish to end this address by placing on record my profound appreciation of the leadership of Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the Governor of Ogun State. We acknowledge his unflinching support for the restoration of our stolen mandate. We assure him that although we are now in different political parties, we remain committed to the ideals of progressive politics, which he has enshrined in Ogun State since it pleased God to place him at the helm of affairs since May 2011.
“I call on our members and supporters to remain calm, peaceful and law abiding no matter the level of provocation and intimidation. It is the sacrifice we have to make for our assured victory in the gubernatorial and House of Assembly election of 2nd March 2019.”