Major opposition political leaders in Oyo State on Tuesday told the media they were on a mission to rescue the state from the alleged misrule of the All Progressives Congress.
The group led by a former governor of the state, Alhaji Rashidi Ladoja, and the governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Seyi Makinde; the African Democratic Congress, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin; the Zenith Labour Party, Chief Sharafadeen Alli; the Social Democratic Party, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN; and the New Progressive Movement, Col. Edward Ladoye (retd.), the group unanimously expressed the need to install a new government on May 29.
At the event held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists press centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, all the candidates of the ADC, ZLP, SDP and NPM formally stepped down for Makinde of the PDP as their consensus candidate for this weekend’s election.
Lanlehin, who read a statement on behalf of other candidates, said the idea of the coalition was to restore the pride, progress and prosperity of the state.
He said, “It is a statement of fact that the people of Oyo State have been subjected to maladministration for the past eight years.
“We are respective governorship candidates of our individual political parties. We officially agree and wholeheartedly accept the coalition of the opposition parties. In equal measure, we endorse Mr Seyi Makinde as the sole candidate of the coalition, though it is a difficult decision considering our contributions to our various ambitions in our various parties.
“No sacrifice is too much for the liberation of our state and the emancipation of our people. This vision is in the interest of the people.”
Makinde promised not to depart from the intention of the coalition.
He said, “History is actually being made here today. This is the political capital of Nigeria, not only the South-West. We have gathered to rescue our people with a common purpose. It’s been a very hard period to negotiate this arrangement.
“I promise that the intent of our coming together will be fully implemented when I become a governor. I am humbled because all these gentlemen that stepped down for me are more qualified. As our people go out to vote on Saturday, two things are to be noted.
“Two Saturdays ago, the people of Oyo South rejected Governor Abiola Ajimobi. The entire people of Oyo State should also reject him because Bayo Adelabu is the third term agenda of Ajimobi. I thank you all, especially my father, Osi Olubadan, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, who made this a reality.”
Ladoja later presented Makinde to the gathering just as other candidates joined him in raising the hand of their consensus candidate.