The launch of the Labour Party in Oyo State, less than a year to the next general election, may have redrawn the political architecture of the state, writes DARE ADEKANMBI, who covered the event. It can be likened to the days of Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s campaign, when fanatical supporters of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), in the Second Republic, filed out not just to catch a glimpse of awe-inspiring Awo but also to listen to well-researched and pragmatic solutions to the problems impeding the growth and development of society and its inhabitants. This captures the scenes in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, recently, when the Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, literally locked down the political capital of the South-West for the Labour Party (LP). The occasion was not a campaign rally but a two-in-one event of the inauguration of the LP interim state executives and the commissioning of the party’s state secretariat located on Awolowo Road, Oke Ado. Bedecked in various attires bearing different inscriptions and with the LP symbol, a mammoth crowd guesstimated to be about 50, 000 stood in defiance of the scorching sun and hot tarmac to welcome Mimiko and the LP national leadership led by its national chairman, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu; a governorship aspirant of the party in Osun State, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade; and many others to Ibadan. Although the LP national leaders were billed to arrive at the venue from Abuja in the afternoon, enthusiastic LP members started trickling into the secretariat from 9 a.m. in groups. And within a few minutes, a large crowd had gathered. The surging crowd was kept entertained by one of Ibadan’s popular fuji sensations Taye Currency. Quickly, the two carriages of the busy road had been taken over by the bubbling LP members. Movement from Molete end of the road to Mokola and other areas was an ordeal.
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