AFTER series of robust and extensive meeting of the coalition of political parties in Oyo state towards March 9 governorship election in Oyo State, the coalition has agreed to work with the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Engineer Seyi Makinde to be able to form a government of unity in the state.
This was announced by the spokesperson of the coalition and governorship candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, while addressing journalists at the Bodija home of the former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, on Saturday evening.
Ayorinde who said the decision was ‘an open book’ for other parties to plug in after concluding their various meetings with their caucuses and stakeholders any moment from today.
Four gubernatorial candidates; Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Femi Lanlehin of Action Democratic Congress (ADC), Barrister Sharafadeen Alli of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and Chief Bolaji Ayorinde of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) began the coalition moves at Bodija to form a government of national unity in the next dispensation in the state.
Earlier on Friday, Chief Ayorinde had hinted that a document had been prepared for all concerned stakeholders for perusal and to be later signed as grey areas had been sorted out between the stakeholders in the meeting. But as events unfolded, sources informed Tribune Onlinethat other parties were hellbent on further consultation with their party hierarchy and other stakeholders before could take their final decision.
So, on Saturday, and against expectation, the meeting slated for 12 noon was later adjourned till 5.00pm for a final decision. This sources informed that other parties involved were meeting with their supporters to take a final decision.
By the time the meeting resumed on Saturday evening, Chief Ayorinde and Engineer Seyi Makinde returned for the meeting which lasted for over an hour before the two came out smiling with other stakeholders to address the press.
Coming out of the meeting, Chief Ayorinde said “with the development, as you can see, Engineer Seyi Makinde is here, smiling, I am here I am smiling, some of our other colleagues are possibly still with their caucuses and I believe they are also smiling.
“The outcome of our meeting; we are moving forward. We in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) have resolved to work with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State. And we shall be supporting Engineer Seyi Makinde for governor.
“The parties remain the same and the party they are. But for the governorship election on the 9th of March, Saturday next week, we have all resolved to work for the candidate of PDP.”
On the number of parties that have adopted Makinde, Ayorinde said “We have so many parties in Oyo State, there are so many of them. We have an open book and everybody is plugging into that book. It’s a developing story.
“By now, If I say we are five, by the time we finish talking to you, we may be seven, we may be eight. Every minute. We have been talking on how to come together as a government of unity in Oyo State. It is an open book, we are expecting more and more people to join.”
Engineer Makinde who expressed optimism that the people of the state are ready to vote him as the next governor of the state corroborated Ayorinde’s claim that the book is not closed against ADC and ZLP because they have to sort things out with their various caucuses at the moment.
According to Makinde: “Like the learned silk mentioned, its an open book, people are free to plug in. SDP and AD have declared before now, they have been working with us and this is the governorship candidate of the SDP who has also declared his support for us and for a unity government in Oyo State.
On ADC, ZLP position about the coalition: “We understand they are currently meeting with their caucuses. It’s an open book, maybe tomorrow, maybe a day before the election, they could also plug in. We leave everything open for now.”
On the ex-governor Alao-Akala who has pitched his tent with the ruling party, APC, Makinde said, “it’s a free world and I believe this election is about godfathers versus the masses. And I can tell you clearly that the masses will prevail.”