The gale of defection rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Osun State chapter assumed a new twist on Friday when the immediate past chairman of Osun State Local Government Service Commission and one of the stalwarts of the party, Chief Peter Babalola defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), alongside his supporters.
It is recalled that Babalola, a prominent indigene of Ikire who resigned his appointment on Thursday in Osogbo had during a chat with the Nigerian Tribune declared that it is the turn of Osun West Senatorial District to produce the next governor of the state.
During an elaborate reception held at the state secretariat of the PDP, located around Biket area of Osogbo to receive him and his supporters into the PDP, the state chairman of the party, Hon Soji Adagunodo said Babalola had “come back his home he built alongside other major stakeholders of the opposition party”.
He posited that “at Ila Orangun, on Thursday, we received more than 5, 000 of APC members into the PDP. This is a gathering storm shattering the APC in Osun. It would soon assume the level of a hurricane
Adagunodo said, “I am happy that our leader, Chief Peter Babalola is coming back to the PDP, the house he joined other stakeholders of our party to build more than a decade ago. He is joining us today with his teeming supporters, numbering over 8,000 across all the 30 local government areas of the state. He has come back to his house. He is teaming with us to take over power from the APC, Aregbesola and his cohorts.
Welcoming Babalola, Hon Akin Titiloye and their supporters into the PDP on behalf of the national chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, the deputy national chairman of the PDP in South West, Chief Yomi Akinwonmi said the party would not condone any attempt to steal its votes in the coming governorship poll in Osun.
According to him, “I want to tell the Osun people that in Lagos, they referred to you as people who are dignified as fools. Don’t vote for APC again if you want your resources to be used for the development of this state.
Akinwonmi alleged that “in Ekiti State, they stole our votes. They should not try to steal our votes in the forthcoming governorship poll in Osun. Peter Babalola and others have come back to their house. This is a rebranded PDP where there is no room for impunity and imposition. The national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has told me to welcome you into the PDP. You are and your supporters are as old as other members of the party and you will have to assess to all your rights and privileges. This is a new PDP”.
In his remark, Babalola attributed parts of his decision to dump the APC to the failure of the party to abide by the principle of equity and justice, which he said, the founding fathers of Osun laid, with a view to enhancing the even social and economic development of all senatorial districts and federal constituencies in the state.
He further stated that “I am happy for seeing all of you again. We have to remember some of our leaders, who have passed on, including late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Chief S. M. Afolabi. I would not be a passenger of a vehicle destined to crash. APC is destined to crash”.
Speaking in Yoruba language, Babalola explained that “the founding fathers of Osun underscored equity, fairness and justice, regarding all the constituents in the state. Our father, Chief Bisi Akande from Osun Central Senatorial District was the governor of Osun, after which Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola governed the state. The current governor who is almost completing eight years in office is from Osun East Senatorial District.
“How can you now say Osun Central should be the next governor. is the turn of Osun West to produce the next governor. I have held talks with Dr Deji Adeleke, by the grace of God, the workers in the state would receive all the arrears of salaries owed them before the end of December 2018 when the PDP government takes over. All the pensioners would also receive their allowances, being owed them by the government”
We have nine federal constituencies and by Sunday, we would commence membership drive to populate the PDP. Because this party had chosen its flag bearer from the right senatorial district, the coast is already cleared for victory. All of us should go back home and mobilise for PDP’s victory. Our people use your PVCs. With the ongoing consultation, our votes would be massive in Osogbo, Ikire, Ilesa, Ile-Ife
Chieftains of the PDP at the event include the governorship candidate of the PDP in September 22 gubernatorial election in Osun, Senator Ademola Adeleke, Chief Shuaib Oyedokun, the deputy national publicity secretary of the PDP, Prince Diran Odeyemi and host of others.
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