Four opposition political parties, the Peoples Democratic Party, African Democratic Congress, Zenith Labour Party and the Social Democratic Party, on Monday signed an agreement to adopt the governorship candidate of the PDP, Mr Seyi Makinde, as the consensus candidate for Saturday’s governorship election.
With the development, the contest is now mainly between Makinde and Mr Bayo Adelabu, the candidate of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress.
The coalition started holding meetings few days to the presidential and National Assembly elections. It was initiated by a former governor and also a candidate of the Action Democratic Party, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala.
Alao-Akala had approached his former boss, former Governor Rashidi Ladoja, on the need for him to lead other opposition political parties to unseat the APC.
But last weekend, Alao-Akala abandoned the group and declared his support for Adelabu of the APC.
The campaign directors of the PDP, Mr Bayo Lawal; ADC, Alhaji Bashiru Lawal; ZLP, Mr Waheed Akanbi; and the head, SDP campaign committee, M. A. Oke, jointly signed the statement, which announced the agreement, promising to make the details of the agreement public later.
As a result of the development, the governorship candidate of the New Progressive Movement, Lt.-Col. Feyisayo Ladoye (retd.), has dropped his governorship ambition and declared his support for Makinde.
Ladoye, who hails from Ogbomoso, said his support for Makinde would prove to the people of Oyo State, who had put their hope in the coalition to end the rule of the APC, that “Ogbomoso people are not betrayers and that true change is possible.”
He dismissed the notion that the Ogbomoso people were controlled by one politician, saying, “Our people are independent-minded, ever-ready to support good causes and they will not be treated like commodities.”
Ladoye said he decided to support Makinde because he had the best approach to resolving the crisis affecting the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, the economic base of Ogbomoso.
He added that other programmes highlighted by Makinde for the development of Oyo State, as contained in his ‘Oyo State Road Map for Accelerated Development,’ were in tandem with the core values of the NPM.
But the state governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, Oyedele Alao, in a statement, distanced himself from the coalition.
He said, “Even when our erstwhile caretaker chairman and his co-political jobbers, out of greed and betrayal, were said to have entered into an unholy alliance with the gubernatorial candidate of another political party, we vehemently opposed and denounced it.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we want to restate it publicly that we are not political traders or political playboys, who came into politics either to swindle the people or just for our name to be mentioned. We came with a mission to rescue the people of our dear Oyo State from economic and political vipers and vultures, whose activities had held our people in social, economic and political bondage over the years.”
Nomic and political bondage over the years.”