Oyo 2019: APC, opposition parties in separate alliance talks

Adebayo Adelabu
Adebayo Adelabu, All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Oyo State.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and major opposition parties in Oyo State are seeking alliances in order to occupy the Agodi Government House by May.

The election to the Agodi Government House, the seat of power in the state, will take place on March 9.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered on Thursday that the need to form an alliance became necessary because of the performance of the leading political parties during the last presidential and National Assembly elections held on Saturday.

The APC lost the presidential election in Oyo State as well as some Senate and Reps seats.

Although there are over two dozen governorship candidates, the race is expected to be between five candidates. These are the APC’s Adebayo Adelabu, the candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Sharafadeen Ali, Olufemi Lanlehin of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party and Adebayo Alao-Akala of the Action Democratic Party (ADP).

The result of the presidential election also shows that the state is still up for grabs as over 70 per cent of the registered voters did not participate. Also, the PDP only defeated the APC with less than 2,000 votes in the presidential election.

The APC had been having talks with a former governor of the state, Adebayo Alao-Akala, who is also the candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP).

It was gathered that the ruling party had through its national leader, Bola Tinubu, met Mr Alao-Akala in Abuja on Wednesday on the possibility of forming an alliance with the APC to win the election for its candidate.

When contacted on the alliance talks, the spokesman of the APC candidate, Bayo Busari, said his party will welcome any alliance.

“Alliances are not out of place under the circumstance that we are at this stage,” he said.

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He, however, said his party does not need such an alliance to win the election.

“If we do (form an alliance) it’s just to make us more comfortable in the elections,” Mr Busari said.

“We have done our homework very well, we campaigned vigorously and we have put forward a gubernatorial candidate that has the best credentials, the best any party can have,” he added.

A close aide to Mr Alao-Akala, who asked not to be named, confirmed the meeting between his principal and Mr Tinubu. He, however, said no agreement was reached at the meeting.

“We remain in ADP. Though, there was a meeting, the meeting does not translate that he has left ADP.

“We, the ADP members had a meeting today, and we say that we remain in ADP. There will be meetings, but I am telling you that we remain in ADP. There may be a possibility of an alliance, but we are still in ADP as I am talking to you now,” he said on Thursday evening.

Other parties also talking

The Director of Public Communications and New Media of the ADC, Akeem Olatunji, confirmed that a separate alliance talk was being held between his party and other major opposition parties.

“We are open to forming an alliance with all interested parties who have the interest of the masses at heart and it has to be based on mutual respect and trust.

“Discussion is about to be rounded up which involves our principal, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, Engineer Seyi Makinde of PDP, Otunba Alao Akala of ADP and Barrister Sharafadeen Alli of ZLP.

“Once the process is transparent and all-encompassing, we of ADC have no problem as it is a game of give and take and hopefully we promise to make the welfare of Oyo State citizens a priority if Sen Olufemi Lanlehin is adopted as the sole gubernatorial candidate of the coalition.”

When contacted on the alliance talks, the ZLP Publicity Secretary, Olajide Olanipekun, said his party was willing to form an alliance with other opposition parties.

“On the part of Zenith Labour Party of Oyo State, we are still meeting and consulting with other willing opposition parties for a possible alliance.

“We will brief the press whenever we are able to reach compromise. Thank you.

“Yes. For now. ZLP will form an alliance with any opposition party that is willing to work with us,” Mr Olanipekun said.

The media aide to the PDP candidate, Dotun Oyelade, said his party was willing to form an alliance with any of the parties except APC.

“We are working and forming alliances with all the parties except APC and our candidate is strong and popular. We are looking good.

“We did well during the presidential polls. In Oke Ogun, Ibadan municipal, Ogbomoso our performance was good and can only be better during the gubernatorial race. It is also incorrect and hasty to assume that the alliance has crumbled,” he said.

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