The chairman of the Social Democratic Party in Oyo State, Michael Okunlade, on Tuesday, said he was not out to malign or tarnish the image of the party’s governorship candidate in the just concluded election, Michael Lana when the latter declared his support for the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Seyi Makinde.
Few days before the Governorship/House of Assembly election, the SDP candidate, Lana, alongside some SDP members joined PDP, a situation which generated an uproar between him and Okunlade.
Okunlade, while addressing newsmen in Ibadan, the state capital, said Lana alleged that he was not carried along in the process of aligning with APC in the governorship election.
The SDP chairman said, “I want to state clearly that he was on the seat when we all decided not to work for the PDP candidate. He also alleged that we collapsed the SDP structure for APC, this is also unfounded. He alleged that because he (Lana) is not a Muslim that’s why SDP adopted Folarin before the election.
“Lana accused us of not carrying him along before the adoption of Folarin which we did. It was a decision of the party, not an individual decision. He went ahead to announce that I collapsed the SDP structure for Folarin which is a lie. He also accused us that we wanted to Islamize the state and also I collected money from Sharafadeen Alli to work for Teslim Folarin of All Progressives Congress. These are some of the allegations that provoked me to speak the way I spoke.
“As a state chairman, the election has come and gone, we need to make peace for the party to move forward. Even though his action was against the collective interest of the party. I need to make peace for us to move forward.
“The party has reached a crossroads and someone has to steer it back on track. No other person is in a better or best position to do that than me as the state chairman. Given this, I take responsibility for the situation we found ourselves in. I hereby declare no victor and no vanquished in this imbroglio. The party has to move forward and I apologize for all altercations and name-callings that have characterized the party in the last few months.
“I particularly apologize to our able guber candidate in the person of Lana and every member of the party in general.
“I appeal to every member of the party to forgive each other and embrace peace so that the party can move forward.
“During the fighting, we had cause to trade words, “ija lode lorin dowe” but let us put all that behind us in the interest of our party. He is an erudite lawyer. He can’t trade his children for money. He is a well-known lawyer that has won many cases. I withdraw the statement that he can trade his children for anything. It was just a mere rumor that he collected money from the PDP candidate.” He submitted.