A coalition of political parties in Oyo state has finally adopted the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Engr. Seyi Makinde ahead of the March 9 governorship election in the state.
This happened after a series of meetings that took a new shape on Friday following the exit of ADP candidate, Adebayo Alao-Akala, from the arrangement.
The parties signed the agreement Saturday evening at the meeting which held at the Bodija home of the former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, leader of the Zenith Labour Party in the state.
Nature of the coalition
Spokesman of the coalition and governorship candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, while addressing journalists after the meeting said the decision was ‘an open book’ for other parties to plug in after concluding their various meetings with their caucuses and stakeholders any moment from today.
Governorship candidates, opposition parties involved
Four governorship candidates; Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Femi Lanlehin of Action Democratic Congress (ADC), Barrister Sharafadeen Alli of ZLP and Chief Bolaji Ayorinde of SDP are involved in the coalition which will lead to the formation of a government of unity of Makinde wins the election. The Alliance for Democracy is also involved.
According to Ayorinde, “the parties remain the same and the party they are. But for the governorship election on the 9th of March, Saturday next week, we have all resolved to work for the candidate of PDP.”
Former governor of the state, Alao-Akala had been championing the coalition talks before he suddenly switched allegiance to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday. He said he remains in the ADP but would work for the victory of APC candidate, Adebayo Adelabu.
How many opposition parties involved
Ayorinde explained: “We have so many parties in Oyo State, there are so many of them. We have an open book and everybody is plugging into that book. It’s a developing story.
“By now, If I say we are five, by the time we finish talking to you, we may be seven, we may be eight. Every minute. We have been talking on how to come together as a government of unity in Oyo State. It is an open book, we are expecting more and more people to join.”
Lanlehin, Alli, yet to get nod of major ADC, ZLP stakeholders
Makinde explained the situation with ADC and ZLP by saying: “We understand they are currently meeting with their caucuses. It’s an open book, maybe tomorrow, maybe a day before the election, they could also plug in. We leave everything open for now.”
Newspeakonline however understands that the some members of the Unity Forum, a group of former APC members currently in ADC and ZLP, may be the actual reason the two parties are yet to sign the coalition agreement. The national leadership of the APC led by former Lagos governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is reportedly reaching out and putting pressure on the ADC and ZLP members with many of them yet to make up their minds.
There are already reports that some of them are already signing back to the APC, especially after the ruling party got the Alao-Akala boost.