As part of efforts to populate its fold with prominent politicians who can deliver the votes in 2019, leaders of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), on Monday, stormed Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to woo a former governor of the state, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala into the party.
Tribune Online gathered that the SDP delegation, which was led by its national chairman, Chief Olu Falae, also included a former Minister of Education, Professor Tunde Adeniran; Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the Philippines, Yemi Farounbi; another former Minister of Power and Steel, Dr Olu Agunloye; Honourable Taiwo Akeju; Chief Kola Balogun; Mrs Oyeronke Akinlolu; and others.
The Sdp Leaders, who arrived Akala’s Bodija residence at about noon, asked the former governor to join the party as the platform to rescue the country from “rudderless leadership” using the window of next year’s elections.
The visitors, after the exchange of pleasantries with the host and his large number of loyalists who joined him to welcome the guests, went into a closed-door meeting with the former governor for about two hours.
Tribune Online gathered that the SDP leaders stressed the need for all patriotic Nigerians who believe in national unity, justice, equity and progress to come together under the banner of the party to save the country from collapse.
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It was gathered that Falae and Adeniran espoused the ideals that they said marked SDP out as a viable party, a reason they said many prominent politicians from across the country had been queuing behind the party on daily basis.
The SDP chairman, who is a former Secretary to the Federal Government and was joint presidential candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and the All Peoples Party (APP) in the 1999 election, said they were in Ibadan to start the building of a new Nigeria project in order to protect the future of the nation from the precipice and directionless leadership.
“There is the need for us to be together to save Nigeria and restore democracy by bringing about a new hope for fulfilment,” he said.
All the SDP leaders eulogized the political antecedents of Alao-Akala, describing as a big wig not only in the politics of Oyo State but also in national play.
Responding to the entreaty, Alao-Akala said he was humbled to receive a high-level delegation of eminent elder statesmen to his abode, describing the visitors as credible Nigerians who have made their mark in the politics of the country.
He assured the delegation that he would get back to them after holding consultations with his loyalists across the state.
Confirming the purpose of the visit to Nigerian Tribune, the former governor said “Yes, they came to woo me to join SDP. In politics nothing is impossible. They came to try and I repeat, nothing is impossible in politics.
“I told them I would sit with my supporters from across the state and get across to them after our meeting. If you look at the calibre of the people that came, you will know that real politicking has started now,” he said.
Nigerian Tribune gathered from the party hierarchy that a similar visit for former governor Rashidi Ladoja will be made “in the next few days,” as the team could not visit Ladoja who on enquiry, got to know that Ladoja was already in another meeting in Ibadan.
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