Tawfiq Akinwale, who was the Labour Party (LP) candidate in the Oyo State governorship election in March 2023, has joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
In a statement released on Sunday night, Akinwale said his decision to switch to the APC came after carefully assessing the political environment.
He concluded that the LP’s leadership lacks the necessary vision, direction, and cohesion needed to bring about significant transformation in the state and, more broadly, Nigeria.
The statement read: “In the face of uncoordinated efforts and a lack of focus within the Labour Party, Tawfiq Tayo believes that aligning with the All Progressives Congress will provide the ideal platform to effectively address the challenges facing Oyo State as an opposition and to champion a progressive agenda for the betterment of its citizens.
“Throughout my campaign, I witnessed the earnest desire of the people of Oyo State for positive change and meaningful development. It became increasingly apparent that such change could not be effectively achieved under the current leadership of the Labour Party in the State.
“Therefore, after careful consideration, I have decided to join the All Progressives Congress, a party that shares my commitment to progress, unity, and purposeful leadership.
“The All Progressives Congress has consistently assured Nigerians of its dedication to good governance, socioeconomic development, and the empowerment of its citizens.
“With a solid track record of successful leaders who have implemented policies and initiatives at both the national and state levels, APC remains committed to uplifting the lives of ordinary Nigerians even in the face of the current yearnings of Nigerians which will soon be converted to laughter and joy.
“As a formidable political force, the APC will offer a unique opportunity for me to collaborate with like-minded individuals, passionate about Oyo State’s development, and to work towards achieving the aspirations and dreams of the people.
“By becoming a member of the APC, I am taking a significant step towards ensuring the realisation of a prosperous, inclusive, and vibrant Oyo State that empowers its citizens and harnesses its full potential.
“In my new political home, I will continue to advocate for policies and programmes aimed at improving infrastructure, healthcare, education, agriculture, and job creation in Oyo State. With a renewed sense of purpose and determination. I am ready to contribute positively to the progress of the APC and Oyo State as a whole.
“My decision is not taken lightly and is rooted in the best interests of the people of Oyo State. I sincerely hope that all well-meaning citizens will join me in supporting this important step towards a brighter future for Oyo State.
“I am a visionary and dynamic leader who contested the March 2023 Governorship elections in Oyo State under the Labour Party. I am recognised for my unwavering commitment to progress, unity and development.
“I am now a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and remain dedicated to advancing the well been of people of Oyo state.
Earlier in May 2023, Tawfiq Akinwale, said the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, financed his party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to thwart the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar’s ambition.
Akinwale said this in an interview with an Ibadan-based radio, Yes FM, on the programme titled ‘Gbagede Oro’ on Wednesday.
In the seven minutes and 13 seconds interview, rendered in the Yoruba language, the Oyo LP governorship candidate said, “From the beginning, Pat Utomi was the one with the party’s ticket to contest presidency but Tinubu played a political card by telling Utomi to willingly give the party’s ticket to Obi immediately he left PDP so that he can cripple Atiku’s influence in the contest.
“So Tinubu began financing Pat Utomi to sponsor Obi’s presidential campaign. But when it got to a stage, the campaign blossomed beyond expectation. He stopped.
“Peter Obi was used to achieve Tinubu’s ambition unknowingly,” he added.
Akinwale said he does not like Tinubu but appreciated his political excellence, and how he has sustained his political relevance since 1999.
Referencing one of the instances of his political superiority, Akinwale retraced back to 2003 when the President-elect had a scuffle with some politicians who tackled his dominance in Lagos State but won and still maintained his hegemony.
He however added that the Labour Party is yet to understand the dynamics of politics.
While fielding questions on the Obidients, he said, “They have claimed not to be politicians but keyboard warlords. They confirmed they were at the party because of Peter Obi and will double cross whoever has a contrary opinion to their candidacy.
“They are not Labour Party members; in fact, we begged them to register with the party but they didn’t. None of them even contested. They are only voting for whoever Obi tells them to vote for,” he stressed.