What is Teslim Folarin, El-Rufai, Kamil Akinlabi doing at SDP?

This is the question on the lips of political watchers as pictures emerged showing the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State in the 2023 general elections, Senator Teslim Folarin, the former governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and a former House of Representatives member from Oyo State, Honourable Kamil Akinlabi at the Abuja residence of Senator Abubakar Gada, along with the Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Shehu Musa Gabam and other party leaders.

Also present was a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from Bauchi State, Senator Nazif Suleiman.

There are speculations that the former governor of Kaduna, El-Rufai is preparing ground for an eventual move to the SDP after his ministerial nomination went awry.

Like El-Rufai, Senator Folarin lost patronage from the APC after the governorship election in 2023 which he lost.

Unlike Gboyega Oyetola who also lost the governorship election in Osun but now heads the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, Senator Folarin lost the ministerial slot for Oyo State to Chief Adebayo Adelabu, the current Minister of Power, who also contested the last governorship election in Oyo, not under the APC but Accord Party.

Adelabu had returned to the APC following the emergence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president and was nominated for a ministerial position ahead of Senator Folarin, the APC flag bearer in Oyo State.

Reacting to his political travails after the 2023 elections, Senator Folarin was once quoted as saying the APC threw him under the bus, a reference to the perceived unwritten pact between President Bola Tinubu and Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State during the 2023 polls. The alleged pact is believed to have narrowed the chances of Senator Folarin emerging victorious in the election.

Honourable Kamil Akinlabi is also more or less an APC political renegade having been in political limbo after losing the bid to return to the lower chambers to the late Alaafin of Oyo’s son, Honourable Hakeem Adeyemi popularly called Skime, years ago.

So, it appears the trio are political renegades in the APC. Interestingly, all three politicians have at one time or another been members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In any case, Mallam El-Rufai and Senator Folarin share one thing in common; both were victims of political intrigues in the APC in recent times and this might explain their ongoing romance with the SDP.

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