The reported endorsement of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Seyi Makinde, by some opposition political parties in Oyo State, ahead of Saturday’s election, has been challenged.
Two leading opposition parties, Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) backed by former governor Rasheed Ladoja, and the African Democratic Congress have denied that they were part of the endorsement.
On Friday, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Bolaji Ayorinde, told journalists that opposition parties had decided to join forces with the PDP candidate in order to defeat the APC.
The ZLP Chairman, Wole Abisoye, although admitted that his party was part of a proposed coalition, he said the adoption of the PDP candidate was not part of what had been done so far.
“The meeting was inconclusive and we have adjourned till Monday. When we meet, we will decide,” he said.
“The coalition meeting for this evening was inconclusive. My party, the ZLP has not endorsed any governorship candidate. Bolaji Ayorinde, who spoke, to the press, spoke on behalf of his party, the SDP.”
Also the ZLP Publicity Secretary, Olajide Olanipekun, in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday, said that Sharafadeen Alli remained the candidate of the party.
“Coalition yet to adopt a consensus candidate; BSA remains ZLP gubernatorial candidate,” said Mr Olanipekun.
“Attention of the Zenith Labour Party, Oyo State has been drawn to the news that the opposition in Oyo State has adopted Engr Seyi Makinde as the consensus candidate for the 9th March, 2019 gubernatorial election in Oyo State.
“We wish to state clearly that the coalition meeting that was billed for Saturday 2nd March,.2019 never took place, hence no consensus candidate has been adopted.
“So it was surprising that the news of adoption of Engr. Seyi Makinde as consensus candidate by the coalition has hit the newsstands when the meeting where such decision was to be taken never held. The meeting has been rescheduled to come up on Monday 4th March, 2019.
“We of the Zenith Labour Party wish to state clearly that we are committed to forming alliance with other willing opposition parties. But as of today, 2nd March, 2019, ZLP as a party has not adopted a consensus candidate with any other political party. Barrister Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli (BSA) remains the gubernatorial candidate of ZLP.
“We want all our candidates for the state of House of Assembly to continue campaigning for the March 9 elections.”
In the same vein, Damola Adeoye, the Media Assistant to ADC candidate, Olufemi Lanlehin, in a statement said coalition talk is still ongoing and no candidate had been endorsed.
“Senator Olufemi Lanlehin (SOLAN), Oyo State ADC governorship candidate, wishes to inform supporters, loyalists, members of the ADC, and the very good people of Oyo State, that as a democrat, and committed party man, the interest of Oyo State and its people is paramount to him,” the statement said.
“To that end, he wishes to allay whatever fears that are being nursed owing to the seeming lull occasioned by the ongoing coalition talks, urging the people to also discountenance every insinuation concerning the purported adoption of a coalition candidate.
“Truth is, as of today, Saturday, 2 March, 2019, talks are still ongoing among opposition parties desirous of ousting the fascist ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and birthing a masses-friendly, pro people government.
“Yet, as promising as the talks are, no candidate has been adopted. Decisions as to the adoption of a coalition candidate, when eventually arrived at, will be done by mutual consent, and not by blackmail or mischief, and same appropriately communicated.”
While the opposition parties are yet to agree on an alliance, the governing APC has already agreed an alliance with the Action Democratic Party (ADP) whose candidate, Adebayo Alao-Akala, has declared support for Adebayo Adelabu of the APC.