AUGUST 5, 2014 BY FEMI MAKINDE
Former Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola
The estranged National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party and a former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has said that he will defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress in Osogbo today.
When contacted on the telephone by our correspondent, on Monday, Oyinlola, who confirmed that he would join the APC, said: “So it is. I am joining the APC.”
Sources within the APC told our correspondent that Oyinlola would join the APC today at the mega rally of the ruling party which is scheduled to hold in Osogbo.
The development has generated excitement in the camp of the APC because the former governor is considered to be very influential in the politics of the state just as his defection is seen as a boost to Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s chances of securing a second term in office in the election holding on Saturday.
It became obvious that Oyinlola’s crisis with the PDP was far from being over as he stayed away from the PDP mega rally which was attended by President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muazu; and the leaders of the party last Saturday.
If Oyinlola defects to the APC as scheduled, then all former governors in the state would be members of the ruling party.
Aregbesola had disclosed recently at a campaign in Iwo that Oyinlola had become a member of the APC.
Aregbesola said, “When the PDP was united as one party, we defeated them. Now the good ones among them have left and are now with us. All former elected governors in the state are now with Aregbesola.
“The first elected governor, Alhaji Isiaka Adeleke, is with us; the second governor, Baba (Bisi) Akande is with us. The third governor Omo’ba (Prince), is also with us. I can say this but they cannot say it.
“But a former deputy governor, who was chased away from office is the one they are banking on to win the election, they are joking.
“Their candidate has never won any election and he cannot win this one. The only election he won was a gift to him from the prince and he did not win but the election was manipulated for him.”
The National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; Chief Bisi Akande and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had immediately after the defeat of Governor Kayode Fayemi by Mr. Ayo Fayose in Ekiti State, visited Oyinlola at his residence in Okuku to woo him to join the party.
Oyinlola is expected to be received by the national leaders of the APC at the mega rally.
The Chairman of the PDP in Osun State, Alhaji Gani Olaoluwa, when contacted, wished Oyinlola well in his new party.
Olaoluwa said, “There is neither a permanent friend nor a permanent enemy in politics. We wish Oyinlola well in his new party. But we are expecting him to congratulate us on August 10. We are expecting his congratulatory message after we might have been declared the winner of the election.
“The people of the state are against Aregbesola. So, no matter the number of former governors teaming up with him, he will fail. Aregbesola will soon become a former governor because Senator Iyiola Omisore is winning the election by the grace of God.
“The APC is now the party of former governors in Osun State. Aregbesola should be preparing to join the league of former governors.”