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BAYO AGBOOLA, in Ibadan writes that the emergence of Chief Adebayo Adelabu a former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as the governorship candidate of the Accord Party marks the coming of a third force in the Oyo state political landscape.
Perception
The public perception in Oyo state political landscape is that the Accord Party, on daily basis, is becoming a force to be reckoned with, especially, as the contest for who becomes the next governor of the Pace Setter state next year gathers momentum. 
Recent developments in the state have lent credence to Accord being an emerging political Third Force after the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and leading opposition the All Progressives Congress (APC). 
To many, the present day Accord Party in Oyo state could best be described as an underdog that should not be underated as far as the 2023 general elections is concerned going by the exodus of notable politicians into the party in the past few weeks. 
Convergence of “Unity Forum”
For example, few days ago, the break – away faction of the APC in Oyo state, The Unity Forum, penultimate Sunday met with the Accord Party governorship candidate in the state,  Chief Adebayo Adelabu. The meeting was to express solidarity for his governorship ambition. 
Talking about the core progressives in Yorubaland, the Unity Forum stands as one comprising mostly adherents of the late Bola Ige political dynasty, late Alhaji Lam Adesina loyalists and some former commissioners under the immediate past administration of late Senator Abiola Ajimobi. 
The resolve to vote Accord
At the meeting, The Unity Forum members minced no words in agreeing to mobilise the electorate across the geo-political zones of Ibadan, Oke-Ogun, Ogbomoso, Oyo and Ibarapa to vote for Accord party in the coming general elections.
The party’s governorship candidate, Chief Adelabu and other candidates for various political offices in the party have on many occasions emphasised their determination to spring surprises in the February, 2023 general elections in Oyo state.
The governorship candidate at a recent parley with former Council Vice Chairmen, Secretaries, Chiefs of staff and supervisory councilors in the state expressed his determination to go ahead with his ambition in the Accord party to realise their ambition.
Distancing from APC
He said it was all lies that the APC National leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had called him to return to the APC fold. “It’s a blatant lie that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu called me to return to the All Progressives Congress (APC). 
“He’s my political father and mentor but he won’t give such order. He’s fully aware of my defection to Accord and believed my reasons for the defection are justifiable.
“I finally tendered my resignation of membership to my APC ward chairman on the 26th of May 2022 after due consultation with my leaders and supporters about the various irregularities in the party.
“Prior to the elections, the delegate list had been compromised across board. Secondly, Oyo APC gubernatorial primaries was shifted to the next day contrary to INEC guidelines and two venues were highlighted to conduct the elections. 
“My interest in politics is to deliver good governance through people oriented policies that would drive the economy of the state to enviable heights. This is our vision for Oyo state”.
The mega rally 
On Wednesday, August 3, members and  leaders of the Accord party besieged the Obafemi Awolowo stadium in Ibadan, for a mega rally  to finally announced their arrival and quest for political struggle of total control of the state and to let the doubting Thomases realise that Accord Party has come to stay as far as the 2023 general elections is concerned.
At the rally, the Accord leaders and members clearly demonstrated that the party and its loyalists were ready to be the expected game changer in the Oyo state politics come 2023 with the affirmation of its first eleven team for the 2023 general elections.
The group affirmed the likes Hon. Shina Peller, the federal representative representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa, vying for Oyo North, Engr Nurudeen Faozey(Oyo Central), Kolapo Kola-Daisi (Oyo South) as well as some House of Representative candidates led by Hon. Abass Aleshinloye. 
Affirming the guber candidate
Hon Ayodele Oyajide in affirming the unity of purpose, stepped down for Chief Adebayo Adelabu as the Oyo state governorship candidate in the  2023 general elections.
Speaking at the rally, National Chairman of Accord Party, Honourable Nalado Muhammed declared, “Accord party is not a new party in Oyo state and in Nigeria as a whole and when the time comes to elect your leader, I believe it is not going to be a difficult task for you to locate your party on the ballot paper because it is on the top of the paper. 
He continued, “I hereby nominate Chief Adebayo Adelabu as the governorship candidate of Accord Party on Oyo state come 2023 general elections.”
The National Chairman added, “I urge all the party members that are aggrieved to embrace peace and let us be in one Accord. Nigerians need a true change, we are seeing what we are seeing today because we made a wrong choice then, let us come out in 2023 and make a right leader.”
Alhaji Muhammed Nalado while emphasising that Accord Party “is a unique alternative platform that would offer good governance to Nigerians” tasked members in the state to bury their hatchets and support the party’s governorship candidate and other flag -bearers during the 2023 general election.
Also, the National Secretary, Dr Adebukola Ajaja, described Chief Adelabu as a reliable, peaceful and integrity-personified who would usher in development in all spheres of life.
“As a pillar of support for Accord since 2017, I am very happy, I feel blessed and remain grateful to God for his grace for me to do what others cannot do. I am very hopeful Chief Adebayo Adelabu has been affirmed to win and rule as governor of Oyo state come 2023”, Dr Ajaja said.
Acceptance speech 
The Accord governorship candidate in Oyo state for the 2023 elections, Chief Adebayo Adelabu in his acceptance speech minced no words: “This is our time of progress and this is our time to move on to the next level in Oyo state, for a new dawn has come. 
“I thank all members of Accord party and the change you’re yearning for is here. Our coming to Accord party is not by accident, this will be the first time that Accord party will produce the governor for Oyo state, we are not only winning the gubernatorial but all the Senatorial, House of Representative and State House of Assembly seats”.
“We need oneness and progress to win the election, Adelabu cannot win it alone and I urge all the aggrieved to come together, the voice of the people shall be supreme at the coming election and I believed they want me to be their governor, whatever we can do to make our people come together let’s do it.
“The work has started and by the grace of God come 2023, I shall be sworn in as the governor of Oyo state. I shall give the masses free education, security, economy, free flow of transportation in our cities. Very soon, we shall start door to door campaign across the state. Today is not for campaign but I can assure you that we are going to win at the next election”, Adelabu said.
Accord Party Chairman in Oyo state Hon. Kolade Ojo in his remarks said, ” in compliance with electoral law of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we have gathered here today to  substitute our governorship candidate with Chief Adebayo Adelabu. 
“Hon Ayodele Oyajide has stepped down for Chief Adebayo Adelabu as the governorship candidate of our dear party, and I urge everyone of us to go and start working for the progress of our party.”
The man: Chief Adebayo Adelabu
Going by the views of political observers across Oyo state, there is no doubting the fact that the coming of Chief Adebayo Adelabu who was the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in 2019 and cross carpeting by other notable politicians in Accord will influence the outcome of the governorship election.
This is in consideration of the fact that the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) cannot be said to be a pushover in the race to the Agodi Government House. 
Moreso, that he (Chief Adebayo Adelabu) is an Ibadan man like the incumbent governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde and the APC governorship candidate for the 2023 general election, Senator Teslim Folarin, the race promises to be an epic battle.
To some, however, Chief Adebayo Adelabu is a master of the game who should never be underated in any contest considering his brilliance and experience in nearly all the major sectors of the economy. 
This, among other factors makes political observers, see the emergence of a new Accord party as most expected Third Force party that may likely turn the table of events in Oyo state politics come 2023.

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