Senator Teslim Folarin, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Oyo State, has received the state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Rauf Olaniyan, into the party.
Olaniyan, an Oke-Ogun-born technocrat cum politician, had on Sunday announced his defection from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state to the APC.
In a statement in Ibadan, personally signed by Folarin, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content, described Olaniyan’s defection as a welcome development and a big catch for the APC.
He said that Olaniyan’s defection was “a reflection of the arrogant and non-accommodating nature” of the PDP leaders in the state.
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“The state APC family is very excited that the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji AbdulRauf Olaniyan, has joined us with thousands of his supporters across the 351 wards.
“Olaniyan is one of the few technocrat-turned-politician I admire and respect.
“With Olaniyan and other well-meaning stakeholders in Oyo State politics, we shall rescue the state from the PDP in 2023.
“Oyo PDP is unfortunate for losing a great asset. There is no denying the fact that Olaniyan is a cool-headed man, highly cerebral and undoubtedly the most experienced deputy governor in the history of Nigeria,” Folarin said.
The APC flagbearer said that Olaniyan had never been allowed to give his excellent service delivery for the betterment of the downtrodden masses in the state.
“With personalities like Olaniyan in APC, PDP will suffer electoral humiliation in 2023 general elections.
“The strongest indicator for conducting an opinion poll is the uncontrollable exodus that has been hitting PDP in Oyo State since 2019,” he said.
Folarin described Olaniyan’s defection as “a morale booster for the party ahead of the 2023 elections”, promising to give him a rousing welcome after the APC presidential primary scheduled to hold on Monday.
The lawmaker said that Olaniyan’s position as the validly elected Deputy Governor of the state was secured and constitutionally-backed till his tenure ends on May 29, 2023.
Folarin urged the PDP to forget any impeachment agenda or further victimisation of the deputy governor in any form.
He said that APC had zero tolerance for harassment, humiliation and victimisation of any of its members.
“Olaniyan and his teeming supporters will not be the last to join the Oyo APC Rescue Mission 2023, many more PDP political office holders and their chieftains will announce their transfers in no distant future,” he said.