Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Senator Rashidi Ladoja, former governor of Oyo State and Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, yesterday made a public presentation of Oluseyi Makinde, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), as a coalition governorship candidate of five leading opposition parties in the state.
The public presentation took place during a world press conference with the theme: ‘Oyo 2019: We Stand by Seyi Makinde,’ held at the press centre of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Iyaganku, Ibadan. The parties in the coalition are the PDP, African Democratic Congress (ADC), Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and New Progressive Movement (NPM).
In attendance at the presentation were Ladoja, Makinde and the governorship candidates, who stepped down for Makinde.
The governorship candidates who stepped down for Makinde are Olufemi Lanlehin of ADC, Bolaji Ayorinde of SDP, Sarafadeen Alli of ZLP, and Lt. Col. Feyisayo Ladoye (retd) of NPM. They also graced the ceremony with their presence.
Ladoja, who is the leader of ZLP and the coalition, said: “It is my pleasure to present to you the agreed candidate for the election coming up on Saturday, and who, ‘Insha Allah’ (by God’s grace), will become governor-elect on that day, and will be subsequently sworn in on May 29, as governor of Oyo State.”
Lanlehin, who spoke on behalf of the governorship candidates who stepped down for Makinde, said: “After series of meetings and consultations, those of us gathered here, respectable governorship candidates of our various political parties, hereby, agree to the coalition arrangement, and consequently decline from contesting Saturday’s governorship poll.
“In equal measure, we endorse Makinde as our sole candidate. Though a, very tough decision considering the human and material resources, as well as time already expended, in pursuance of our individual governorship bids, not minding the contacts and tours already made to the 33 local government areas of the state, it is our firm belief that no sacrifice is too much for the liberation of our state from the clutches of godfathers, and capitalists headquartered outside Oyo State.”
Also, Ayorinde, Alli and Ladoye, in their separate remarks, backed the submission of Lanlehin, at the world press conference.
In his acceptance speech, Makinde, who commended Ladoja, noted that without his efforts, the coalition could not have seen the light of the day.
“History is actually being made here, today. This is the political capital of Nigeria, not only of the South West. When we got ‘Wild Wild West,’ we pulled down the entire country. So, this is actually the political capital of Nigeria.
“We have all gathered here to rescue our people with a common purpose. It has been a very hard period for us to negotiate this arrangement. I stand before you all to promise that the spirit and the intent of our coming together, by God’s grace, will be fully implemented when we get to government.
“I’m humbled because most of these gentlemen, who have stepped down for me, are even far more qualified than myself for this position. I feel humbled and I pray we will not disappoint ourselves and the people of Oyo State.
“What is at stake here are two major things. One, penultimate Saturday, the people of Oyo South Senatorial district rejected Governor Abiola Ajimobi. Now, we call on the entire people of Oyo State to also reject him because Bayo Adelabu is third term for Ajimobi. So, we ask the entire people of Oyo State, just like Oyo South senatorial district had done, to reject Governor Ajimobi, reject Adelabu, reject third term in Oyo State. The second issue at stake is that we want Oyo State money to stay in Oyo State,” he said.