The candidate of the Allied People’s Movement for the March 9 Ogun State governorship election, Adekunle Akinlade, has returned to the ruling All Progressives Congress alongside his supporters.
Akinlade, who is loyal to ex-governor Ibikunle Amosun, defected to APM after losing the APC’s governorship ticket to Governor Dapo Abiodun.
But the state Publicity Secretary of the APC, Tunde Oladunjoye, said they were not aware of Akinlade and his supporters’ return.
Akinlade, who was Amosun’s preferred candidate for the election, on Monday announced that they had decided to let bygones be bygones and return to the APC.
He told journalists at the APM secretariat in Leme, Abeokuta, they remained the legitimate owners of the APC.
He explained that he and his loyalists left the APC in October 2018 because of the alleged injustice meted out to them by the national leadership of the party.
He however said it became imperative for them to set their grievances aside and return to their party after they had used all available means to fight injustice.
Akinlade said, “APM was a platform to actualise our mandate. We have gained consciousness that we can never lose election again in Ogun State.
“I have learnt a lot of lessons, and I discovered that you must not go to the tribunal yourself when you have a case.
“As democrats and believers in the rule of law, we must now set our grievances aside, display the same courage and high sense of responsibility that kept us on through the last 15 months.
“We must at this junction show that our efforts so far were truly driven by the unwavering desire to sustain the unprecedented developmental strides recorded between 2011 and 2019 across our dear state.”
He added, “We have set in motion a chain of actions that hinges on our resolve to sustain this noble vision tagged the Mission to Rebuild our dear Ogun State.
“At the stakeholders’ meeting of December 22 in Abeokuta, leaders, elders and members came to the conclusion that it was time for those of us who left the APC to contest the elections on the platform of Allied People’s Movement in the last elections to return to the fold.
“As loyal party members, we accept and wish to use this opportunity to thank them for allowing us to explore our aspirations even when it came at great political and personal cost to them.
“It is with this reality in mind that I most sincerely call on every one of you that it is time to return home to the pre-October 2, 2018 Ogun State APC political family with the view to sustaining our core base and consolidate our gains so far.”
Oladunjoye said the party would study the situation before making further comments.
He said, “We will get the report and study the situation.
“We as a responsible party, we need to study the information because the party is not officially aware of the report.”