By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Leaders of the major opposition political parties in Oyo State on Friday met at the Bodija residence of High Chief Rashidi Ladoja on plans to form government of unity to defeat the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 9, governorship election in the state.
At the meeting, four governorship candidates from four different political parties in the forthcoming governorship election namely, Engineer Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Senator Olufemi Lanlehin of the
African Democratic Congress (ADC), Barrister Sharafadeen Alli of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and Chief Bolaji Ayorinde of the Social Democratic Party, (SDP) were in attendance.
However, the Action Democratic Party (ADP) governorship candidate in the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala who initiated the coalition before the Presidential election was conspicuously absent as there were insinuation that he has rejoined the ruling APC.
New Nigerian gathered from sources at the meeting that the parley ” is to concretize arrangement on a possible coalition of the leading opposition parties to defeat the ruling All Progressive Congress in the March 9 governorship election.
Sources at the meeting which lasted for an hour and half behind closed doors was adjourned to today (Saturday) during which an agreement is to be reached on the planned ‘government of unity’.
The PDP governorship candidate in the state, Engineer Seyi Makinde while speaking with newsmen disclosed that the meeting was fruitful and progressive but have agreed to continue tomorrow (Saturday) to finalise talk.
Engineer Makinde emphasized that all arrangement and agreements have been reached but awaiting final ratification of all concerned opposition parties.
Also speaking with newsmen, the SDP candidate in Oyo state, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) stated that the proposed talk “is not a merger of any sort but plans to form a government of unity, adding that all the necessary documentations and agreement has been reached but would be finalise at the Saturdays (today’s) meeting.
Chief Ayorinde stressed that many other parties in the opposition in the state are daily showing interest to be part of the plans and they are been accommodated, adding that it was not true that the absence of Otunba Alao-Akala stalled the meeting from finalising agreement today, as initially speculated, but the need for more cohesion and integration of other interested parties.
Speaking further on whether Otunba Alao-Akala Akala sent any apology for been absent at the meeting, the SDP governorship candidate said he personally spoke with him (Akala) and he has the assurance that Akala as a person with genuine concern for the people will do what is right.
Meanwhile, the Akala Campaign Organization in a statement issued by its Director General, Chief Wale Ohu made available to newsmen in Ibadan on Friday was evasive on the purported joining of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) by Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala.
According to the Akala campaign organization, “after careful Consideration of the results of the last Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives elections and in furtherance of the Development, Progress and Peace of Oyo state. Far reaching decisions have to be taken and actualized.
“The ADP after holding series of high level consultations across Oyo state after the last General elections has come to the conclusion that the sanctity, integrity and progress of Oyo cannot and must not be compromised. We have felt the pulse of the people whose support has brought us this far, it is important that we dance when they play the tunes.”, he said.
Chief Ohu added, “we have given deep thoughts to the future of this state and have realized that not much can be realized in Isolation.
Hence the need to team up with the party that puts the interest of the masses on top of its priority list. Looking at the results of the last elections, we have realized the need to restrategise and ensure that Oyo state is not left out in the cold.”
” To this effect, the Oyo state A.D.P and the Akala Campaign Organisation hereby call on all our Members, teeming supporters and well wishers across the state to come on board in this move towards Positioning our state for better National Interest. “