Former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed the insinuation that an implosion is imminent in the party due to the way political heavyweights have been defecting to the party ahead of 2019 general elections.
In an interview with journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Saturday evening, before the public reception (at Mapo Hall Arcade, Ibadan) of top politicians in the state who defected to the APC, Tinubu said the APC had the capacity to accommodate all the bigwigs, adding that the defections would strengthen the party.
Tinubu said, “We have a stainless kitchen and we can accommodate as many cooks as possible and because we will have a variety of menu in the political kitchen of planning this future.
“We love those bigwigs and we can accommodate them all. It is in the same forest that you find a hippo that you find an elephant and you will find a rabbit. In political platforms, you must look for the addition, not the minus.”
A former governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Alao-Akala, who served as governor from 2007 to 2011 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was among those who defected. Alao-Akala had joined the Labour Party (LP) prior to the 2015 general elections, before his latest move.
Also among the defectors are former Senate Leader and former governorship aspirant under the PDP, Senator Teslim Folarin; former deputy governor of the state and former Nigerian Ambassador to Jordan, Taofeek Arapaja; former Secretary to the State Government, Chief Ayodele Adigun; the only federal lawmaker elected on the platform of PDP to the House of Representatives, Segun Odebunmi.
Rauf Olaniyan, Ayoola Makanjuola, Alhaji Rasaq Gbadegesin and others were also welcomed to the APC with their supporters.
The defectors were received by Tinubu, Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, and his counterpart from Osun and Ondo States, Rauf Aregbesola and Rotimi Akeredolu.
Tinubu, who declared that the opposition is dead in Oyo, congratulated the politicians for crossing over to the APC.
“This APC House is great for all of us. We are happy to have you in, and we are proud of our party, the APC; it is the only progressive party available in Nigeria and Africa,” he added.
Aregbesola, Akeredolu, Ajimobi, and state chairman of APC, Chief Akin Oke, shared the same view, agreeing that the defection meant the opposition is dead in Oyo State.
Alao-Akala, on his part, vowed to help the APC to remain victorious in the state.
“There is dynamism in politics and times are changing. We now have only one party in Oyo State, which is APC. There is no longer Peoples Democratic Party in Oyo State. As God lives, we will ensure the victory of APC in Oyo State,” he said.
National leaders of APC at the reception included Chief Segun Oni, a former governor of Ekiti State and Deputy National Chairman (South West), as well as Chief Pius Akinyelure, National Vice Chairman (South West).