By Adeola Oladele & Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
The current governorship race in Oyo State has taken another dimension, just as the battle line was drawn between the two major political parties in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of Saturday’s governorship poll.
The dimension to the governorship permutation was brought to fore on Tuesday, as a former Governor of the State, Chief Rashidi Ladoja and top opposition parties publicly endorsed the candidature of Mr Seyi Makinde of the PDP as the consensus governorship candidate.
At the public endorsement of Makinde held at the Dapo Aderogba Hall of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Iyaganku, Ibadan, the leader of the coalition parties and and a governorship candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC), Sen. Olufemi Lanlehin, stated that they have come to resolution after due deliberation on the need to free the state from the shackles of oppression and domination, thereby decided to endorse the candidature of Mr Makinde as consensus governorship candidate.
He maintained that the coalition decided to present an effective and workable solution to the unpalatable situation in the state, where he said, has been remotely controlled for the past eight years by all manner of constituted authorities, adding that there was the need to form alliance of all political parties in the state.
“We have firmly resolved to present one candidate in the person of Engineer Oluseyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the office of Governor.”
Adding that in the interest of thriving democracy, they have resolved that the House of Assembly elections would be contested on party basis and all candidates in all the parties would be encouraged to go the polls as scheduled.
“We urge and encourage our people to reject the APC and its candidates in the state at the election and vote for our freedom and emancipation.
“The government of unity will be one that will meet all aspirations of our people by fully applying all the resources of Oyo State for the development if Oyo State,” Lanlehin emphasised.
Meanwhile, the APC governorship candidate, Mr Adebayo Adelabu is still enjoying the alliance of a former governor in the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, who has pitched his tent with the ruling party ahead of the governorship poll.
Adelabu is basking in the euphoria of securing maximum vote from Ogbomoso axis of the state with the support of Alao-Akala, while some factions of the major opposition parties like ZLP, ADC have also aligned with him.
While responding to his adoption, the PDP governorship candidate, Mr Makinde expressed the readiness to implement the terms and conditions of the alliance as the consensus candidate, noting that development would signal a new beginning in the state.
“I stand here before you to make the promise that the spirit and intent of gathering here will be fully implemented. Those governorship candidates who have stepped down for my emergence are more qualified than me. I make a firm promise not to disappoint you.
“The time has come for the people of Oyo State to reject Ajimobi’s third term by not voting for Adelabu. The milestone achievement has now paved the way for the PDP to coast home to victory with the support of other patriotic leaders. The APC will be overwhelmed and drowned in their attempt to rig the election through violence and vote-manipulation,” he noted.
The public adoption of Mr Makinde had in attendance Barr. Sharafadeen Alli of ZLP, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde of SDP, who have forgone their governorship ambitions in order to have a formidable force to contest against Mr Adelabu of the APC.