Accord remains the party to beat in Oyo —Lanlehin, Ilaka

TWO chieftains of Accord Party, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin and Chief Bisi Ilaka, on Tuesday, said the party remained the strongest and the most prepared to form “a people-oriented government in the state in 2019.”

Lanlehin, who is the immediate past senator for Oyo South Senatorial District, and Ilaka, and Ilaka, were candidates of Accord for Oyo South and Central Senatorial Districts respectively in the last election.

In a jointly signed statement, the duo, while congratulating the Alhaji Wahab Oyelade-led state executive committee, charged the new officers to continue where their predecessors stopped in terms of preparations for the council elections and repositioning of the party.

They stressed the need for the state electoral umpire to deem it necessary to call a stakeholders’ meeting where modalities for the announced council elections would be discussed and a consensus forged.

“We don’t know whether the state electoral body will conduct the elections into the constitutionally recognised 33 councils as well as the newly created 35 Local Council Development Areas or they only want to do so in the 33 councils.

“This is why it is very necessary that a stakeholders’ meeting is called to immediately discuss this issue and many more. Council election is the most critical for grass root development since 75 per cent of the people of the state live in the rural areas.

“If they conduct free and fair elections, we are confident that Accord will win a majority of the councils and the LCDAs. Only Accord can satisfy the aspiration of the people of the state for a pro-poor, pro-masses government,” they said.

Meanwhile, the state secretary of the party, Dr Nureni Adeniran, has called for the amendment of the constitution to pave way for INEC to conduct local government election in states as it did in 1998, a council poll he described as the best council so far held in the country.

“I won election as council chairman under the Alliance for Democracy in 1998 and AD won 18 councils, PDP nine and APP six in that election. Despite AD winning the governorship election in the state, it was not a clean sweep for the ruling party because INEC conducted that election.

“I am waiting to see how the APC-led government will conduct election and Accord will not be declared winner in Egbeda, Ona-Ara, Oluyole, Oyo East and West, Ibadan South East, Ibadan North-East, Lagelu, Akinyele and many others. The Labour Party will win in Oorelope, which is its stronghold,” he said.