By Samuel Ogundipe
Former Senate Majority Leader and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Oyo State, Mr. Teslim Folarin, has conceded defeat in Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the state, even as collation of ballots are still underway.
The former top lawmaker made this known in a statewide broadcast on a private radio station in Ibadan late Saturday.
Folarin said he’s conceding defeat because he’d realised that it is mathematically impossible for him to emerge victory in the polls, having studied the situation of events on ground after polls closed Saturday.
“I thank our people for the support given to us during our campaign. It was humbling,” Folarin noted in a remarkable moment of candor. “For the eventual winner, I congratulate him in advance and promise to personally call him when he is declared the winner. For us, the people have spoken and we respect their wish. Thank you.”
The gubernatorial election in Oyo State is one of the most closely watched in the country. The race pits five political heavyweights against each other after a bitter primary that left former Governor Alao-Akala and businessman Seyi Makinde disgruntled.
The race is also being monitored for a possible “jinx” it’ll likely break as incumbent Governor Abiola Ajimobi pulls ahead in first round of unofficial results released from across the state, with Rasheed Ladoja coming in a very close second: No sitting governor has ever been re-elected in the state’s 48-year history.
Those left in the race are Mr. Seyi Makinde of the SDP, Accord Party’s former Governor Rasheed Ladoja, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of the APC and former Governor Alao-Akala who’s running on the platform of the Labour Party.