By Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
With the gubernatorial election a week away, opposition parties in Oyo State are to form an alliance to unseat the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
On Friday, the Bodija home of former governor of the state, Senator Rasheed Ladoja, played host to four governorship candidates in the forthcoming governorship election.
Present at the meeting were the candidates of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Seyi Makinde, Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Sharafadeen Alli and Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN.
THISDAY gathered that the meeting was to concretise arrangement on a possible coalition of the leading opposition parties to defeat the ruling All Progressives Congress.
However, though expected, the arrowhead of the proposed coalition, the ADP governorship candidate, former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, was absent at the meeting.
The absence of the Ogbomosho-born political gladiator fueled speculations that he might have succumbed to persuasion to rejoining the ruling APC which he left late 2018 after failing to clinch the party’s governorship ticket.
The meeting which lasted barely an hour and half behind closed doors agreed to continue discussion today (Saturday) and reached an agreement on the planned ‘government of unity’.
Makinde while speaking with newsmen after the meeting, said it was fruitful and progressive but that they agreed to continue today (Saturday) to finalise talk, expressing optimism that all arrangement and agreements had been reached but awaiting final ratification of all concerned opposition parties.
On his part, the SDP candidate, Ayorinde said the proposed talk was not a merger of any sort but plans to form a government of unity, adding that all the necessary documentations and agreement had been reached.
He noted that many other parties in the opposition in the state were daily showing interest to be part of the plans and they were being accommodated.
He denied that the absence of Akala stalled the meeting from finalising the agreement as initially speculated, stating that it was shifted for more cohesion and integration of other interested parties.
When asked if Akala sent any apology for his absence at the meeting, he noted that he personally spoke with him (Akala) and that he had the assurance that Akala as a person with genuine concern for the people would do what is right.