Adebayo Alao-Akala, a former Governor of Oyo State and governorship aspirant in the 2019 elections, has declared himself ready to continue after the tenure of the current administration in Oyo State.

According to him, his experience in politics will work in his favour as he will “hit the ground running” if he eventually emerges as governor in 2019.

He stated this at an interactive session with the Forum of Local Government Chairmen, comprising elected chairmen of Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas in Oyo State, on Friday.

According to Tribune, Akala stated that as an alumnus of the Forum,  he “understands the game and knows how it is played”.

His words: “I have been a local government chairman, deputy governor and governor in this state, which tells you that I know what is obtainable at every given time.

“I know what the people want and I know where to continue from after Governor Abiola Ajimobi, as we can all see the level of development going on around Oyo State, which has to be sustained.”

He praised Ajimobi’s efforts at governance, stating that “Governor Ajimobi has raised the bar of governance in this state and I can assure you this will serve as a benchmark for us.

“What we need by 2019 is a governor that will hit the ground running after swearing in not a greenhorn who will spend one year studying files and trying to learn the ropes.

“Experience counts and don’t also forget that we have formidable opposition in our opponents and we must not play into their hands.”

Speaking on his candidacy, he said: “The only answer to this dire situation is to field a sellable, acceptable, experienced and pragmatic candidate who has all it takes to face the opposition parties at the general elections. To achieve this we must get it right from our own internal election which is our party’s primaries and my vast exposure as a grassroot politician has placed me in this criteria and far and above my  co-contestants but that does not mean they are not an important factor in this Oyo State project.

“We will ensure all necessary mechanisms of crisis control are put in place before we go for the primaries and I can assure you that rather than lose members of our party to any post primary election crisis, my candidature will further unite the party, bring in new members and further assuage the feelings of other aggrieved members.”

Alao-Akala, who was governor under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) till 2011, defected from PDP to Labour Party in 2014 to run for governor and lost. Afterwards, he defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2017, and in July 2018, declared his intention to contest the governorship election in 2019.

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