A former governor of Oyo State and leader of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, on Friday, said he was happy to have led his followers to a safe landing in the ADC, promising to persuade several governors to join the party.
Ladoja stated this on Friday in Ibadan while addressing thousands of his followers who had stormed his residence for a briefing on their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ADC in the state.
The supporters, who defied rain to listen to their leader on the next move of the camp, could not hide their feelings as the member of the fact-finding committee that was saddled with the mission, Mr Bayo Lawal, briefed the supporters.
Lawal appealed to the followers to go back to their wards and local governments to spread the ADC messages and prepare for the congress of the party coming up this month.
He said all supporters of Senator Ladoja in the PDP had moved into the ADC, having made efforts to ensure that the PDP reversed the so-called harmonisation of the state executive as promised by its national leaders and executive.
“Since the PDP leaders and executive members in Abuja failed to keep to their words that they would reverse the so-called harmonisation of the state executive. Senator Ladoja made it known in all the foras that he all wanted was them to re-affirm the result of the last state congress held at the Watershed, but they continue to procrastinate on this.
“We cannot allow us to be boxed into a corner, most importantly, our leader understand the terrain, hence our decision to work for a new party to salvage the situation in the state. That is what led us to the ADC after several consultations with various political parties,” he said.
In his address, the former governor assured his followers that their interest was guaranteed in the ADC, charging them to swing into action, just as he intimated them of the new task given to him by the national leaders of the ADC
“By the grace of God, things will fall in proper place. I urge you all to cooperate with the leadership as we go through the process. Let us be more committed than we did in the past. Before, we trusted them and they backstabbed us. We must defend the interest of our group. When we are fully integrated, we will be defending the interests of all. The chairman and secretary that we will choose will defend the interests of all.
“The assignment that the delegation from Abuja gave me is that the governors that are planning to join the ADC, that I should facilitate their defection to the ADC. I may not always be around but it is for the betterment of our party. This is because I am sure that the home front is safe. Those at home are competent.
“The ADC and PDP have signed an agreement to present a joint presidential candidate. What we are seriously working on for now is that the presidential candidate should emerge from the ADC. This has compelled me to move to different parts of the country quickly to hold the ace in other states, after we have conducted the congresses in Oyo State,” the former governor said.
On the registration of membership for the party just as the party is preparing to organise it congress, Senator Ladoja said: “We need to conduct the congresses in time so that we would not contravene the guidelines set by INEC.
“It is not that we are in haste but time is no longer on our side with barely eight months to the general election. If possible, we should conduct our ward congress next Saturday. Registration will begin from now. If the ward congress is conducted on Saturday, the Saturday that will follow, we can also conduct local government congress and the Saturday that will follow that one, we can conduct state congress, on August 18.”