Seyi Makinde

Five opposition parties in Oyo state on Tuesday publicly presented a coalition governorship candidate to run against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for Saturday’s poll.

The parties in the coalition include African Democratic Congress (ADC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the New Progressive Movement (NPM).

The coalition adopted the PDP candidate, Seyi Makinde, for the governorship poll while retaining their separate structures for the house of Assembly elections.

The former governor, who is also the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland and a chieftain of ZLP, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, made the public presentation of the joint candidate during a press conference which at the NUJ Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan.

The event was also attended by party leaders and stakeholders in the coalition.

The coalition put to rest the much touted and anticipated coalition in their bid to defeat the ruling party.

While reading a speech entitled “An alliance for the freedom of Oyo State,” the ADC governorship candidate, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, said the parties decided on the move as a workable solution to what it described as “unpalatable situation where Oyo state has been remotely controlled in the last eight years.”

Talks on the coalition have been rife but with fears mounting on the workability.

The coalition is the first time in the history of the state that opposition parties agreed to ‘gang up’ against the ruling party.

Lanlehin said: “It is no longer news that a good number of parties in Oyo state have deliberated intensely over the last few weeks and have come to the resolution that there is an urgent need to free our dear state from the shackles of outside oppression and domination.

“We have therefore decided that in order to present an effective and workable solution to the unpalatable situation where Oyo State has been remotely controlled for the past 8 years by outside forces and all manner of constituted authority, there is the need to form this alliance of 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 for the office of Governor at the elections holding on 9th March, 2019.

“He shall be heading by the special grace of God and the power of the people of Oyo State, a Government of Unity which will cater for the interest of all our people irrespective of political association.”

Governorship candidates Sharafadeen Alli (ZLP), Bolaji Ayorinde (SDP) and Col. Feyisayo Ladoye (NPM) appealed to their supporters to vote for Makinde.

Giving a short remark before raising Makinde’s hand, Ladoja said “It is my pleasure to present to you the agreed candidate for the election coming up on Saturday March 9, and who Insha Allah, will become governor-elect on that day, and will be subsequently sworn in on May 29 as governor of Oyo State.

“He is my son. I present to you Engineer Seyi Makinde.”

In his acceptance speech, Makinde who expressed happiness at the coalition noted, the election would put opportunity before the people to do two things.

“Two weeks ago, the people of Oyo South Senatorial District rejected Ajimobi and now is the time of the entire people of the state to reject Bayo Adelabu who is going to be the third term of Ajimobi.

“The second thing is that we want Oyo State money to stay in Oyo state and that is what voting for PDP will do for the people of this state,” Makinde stated.

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