The news, last week, of the defection of members of Accord Party (AP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ona Ara local government area of Oyo state to the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) aroused interests and drew mixed feelings from watchers of unfolding political events in the state.
Perhaps, if the defectors from Accord Party had done so some few weeks back, it would have been taken as some of the dynamics in politics. But coming after a supposed romance between the governor, Abiola Ajimobi and Ladoja and the concession of the chairmanship positions, Egbeda and Ona Ara to Ladoja and his party, the news was bound to create such mixed feelings.
Ajimobi had last Thursday sworn-in new caretaker committee chairmen for the two councils of Egbeda and Ona Ara. The new chairmen, Akinwale Mukaila Akintoye and Akanni Nurudeen Ademola are members of Ladoja’s Accord Party. However, Ajimobi at the inauguration of the council chiefs had directed them to run their respective councils in accordance with the principle, policies and dictates of the ruling party.
The inauguration of the two council chiefs underscored the resolve by the governor to draw Ladoja to his side. The olive branch was coming at a time the erstwhile governor had told the world that he had repudiated his return to his former party, the PDP which he left at the approach of the April 2011 general polls.
Thus, Ajimobi at the inauguration of the council chiefs said they are “expected as part and parcel of this administration, and based on our arrangement with Accord Party, that you work according to the dictates, principles and policies of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
“Remember, it is an ACN government and therefore, as you are coming on board, you should know that you are wearing the cap of that government. When you finish and you go back to your Accord Party, then you are Accord Party but as long as you are with this government, you are ACN.
“Let me also say that where there is rancour, there will be no development. The politics we are playing now is politics of development and not of rancour or abuses. We, therefore, expect you to join hands with us so that we can achieve the aims and objectives of this government in line with the ACN philosophy,” the governor said.
But elders of the ruling party who craved anonymity in Ona Ara local government are worried over the appointment of an Accord Party member as their council chief and described it as suicidal, detrimental and demoralizing to the fortunes of the party in the area. They appealed to Ajimobi to rescind the decision in the overall interest of the ACN in the council area.