A former governor, Rashidi Ladoja, and some opposition parties have agreed to work for the victory of Seyi Makinde, the candidate of the PDP, in Oyo to defeat the ruling APC in Saturday’s guber poll.
The coalition followed the resolve of another former governor, Adebayo Alao-Akala, who had also announced his intention to work for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Adebayo Adelabu, in the election.
The official presentation of Mr Makinde was done on Tuesday at a press conference held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Ibadan.
Those present at the briefing were a former senator, Femi Lanlehin (ADC), Bolaji Ayorinde (SDP) and Sharafadeen Alli (ZLP).
Messrs Lanlehin, Ayorinde, Alli and other chieftains of major opposition parties in the state unanimously agreed to present the PDP candidate for the election.
Mr Ladoja, who formally presented Makinde, described him as the coalition’s candidate for Saturday’s poll.
Mr Lanlehin, who spoke on behalf of the coalition, said the aim was to rescue the people from untold hardship and maladministration in the state.
“We, the respectable governorship candidates of the various opposition political parties, officially and wholeheartedly endorse Makinde of PDP for Saturday’s governorship election.
“Though, it is a very tough decision considering the human effort and resources put into the race, we do believe no sacrifice is too much to rescue the state and its people.
“Our decision is in the interest of the people and the coalition is solely for the purpose of securing the governorship seat for Makinde on Saturday,” he said.
He, however, said all House of Assembly candidates from the various political parties would contest on their respective platforms.
Messrs Ayorinde and Alli, in their separate remarks, also declared their support and endorsement for Mr Makinde as their candidate.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Makinde said the gathering was to inform the people about their efforts toward rescuing them from maladministration.
“History is being made here today in Ibadan, a city that could be described as the political capital of Nigeria.
“Most of those who stepped down for me are even far more qualified than me. I thank them so much,” he said.
Mr Makinde, who lauded Mr Ladoja’s efforts in forming the coalition, promised to implement fully the agreements reached.
“Two Saturdays ago, the people of Oyo South Senatorial District rejected Gov. Abiola Ajimobi’s bid to represent them at the Senate.
“What is at stake are two major things. Our people must reject Chief Adebayo Adelabu on Saturday at the polls to avoid a third term for Ajimobi.
“We must also rescue our state to ensure that Oyo State money is used for our people and remained in the state. We reject capital flight,’’ he said.
Dignitaries at the occasion included a senator-elect, Kola Balogun, Senators Hosea Agboola, Kamorudeen Adedibu, Wasiu Olatubosun, Lanre Ogundipe and Bisi Ilaka.