The former 2011 governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Oyo state, Dr Azeez Adeduntan, has described the political party as a union of hungry politicians who are looking for daily bread to survive.
The renowned vascular surgeon-cum-politician disclosed this while speaking on why he did not give the governorship seat another shot in 2015 under the LP, stating that the party is capable of selling its members to make money if the need arises.
He said further that if the party had been a good one, he would have become governor of Oyo state in 2011.
Dr Adeduntan said: “Whoever wants to succeed cannot go to a party where you have people who only want to survive. Labour Party members want to survive but I want to succeed. I am not in any business in order to survive; I am in it to succeed.
“The majority of Labour Party members are hungry. They are looking for daily bread. They can even sell themselves to make money. If the Labour Party had been a good party, I would have become governor of Oyo State in 2011.
“Most Nigerians would tell you that. At that time, I debated with the incumbent governor and he knew what Dr Adeduntan’s worth was. But nobody can run for governorship without party support.
“You have a party that sold out less than 10 days to election with the deputy governorship candidate running to the ACN then because he was paid some money. So, for me to go to a party that has failed me before would be an unmitigated disaster.
“That was why I didn’t go there, and I warned Alao-Akala when we met in Abuja at the house of the former Senate President, when he said he was going to the Labour Party, that nobody can go to the Labour Party and survive and succeed.
“Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State did not win under the Labour Party. He was in the PDP, so, he brought his PDP apparatus to the Labour Party. That is why he was able to win. And when the time came, he left the Labour Party and is now in the PDP.
“So, the Labour Party is not a party that is designed to succeed. It is meant for those people who want to survive. I want to succeed and that is the reason I left and joined the PDP. I would have joined the ACN, which has now transformed into the APC at that time, the ACN was called Tinubu and Yoruba party, and I am not a tribalist – because Nigeria trained me – and I didn’t want to be seen as a myopic person joining a local party. But I am a full-fledged member of the APC now and by the grace of God, I am running for governorship again in 2019.
“So, Labour Party is not a party that is structured to win. Governorship is a billion naira endeavour; nobody can do it alone. But when you have hungry people who are not ready to pitch in their efforts to make you succeed but would sell their votes and defect to other parties because of money, that is not a party that can win governorship and that is the reason I didn’t go there in 2015,” he averred.
He also lamented that the LP is not really an appendage of the PDP but an appendage to any party that has national spread because its members are hungry.
Adeduntan explained that if there is any party that should win a national election in Nigeria, it should be the LP, because every employee, whether you are a doctor or a nurse, should be a member, adding that it is the reason Labour Party wins handily in Britain and other countries where there is Labour Party existence.
“But here in Nigeria, the majority of people in Labour Party are hungry workers who are not interested in whether you want to succeed or not. For example, in 2011, Labour Party members sold their votes for as low as N500 to the then ACN and abandoned their own candidate. I am not saying this disdainfully but it is a fact. I was there,” he said.