By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
A former Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Deputy National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Dr. Olu Agunloye, has stated that his party has gone into a coalition with the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) in Ondo State for the purpose of the governorship election holding in the state Saturday.
Agunloye asserted that the decision of the SDP to align with the PDP in prosecuting the Ondo governorship ballot was collectively taken at a meeting of the national and Ondo State officers of the SDP.
“Consequently, we have told all our members to vote for the PDP and take every legal step possible to ensure that the PDP candidate, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, is returned as winner of the Ondo State governorship election.”
The SDP chieftain told THISDAY in Akure that the clarification was necessary because the governorship candidate of the SDP in the state, Mr. Peter Fasua, had earlier caused a stir when he publicly stepped down from the race and said he would support the re-election of the incumbent governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
According to Agunloye, “Fasua is on his own. Even the deputy governorship candidate of the SDP did not go along with him. He is clearly on a personal journey. There was no representation from the party, either at the national or state level at his purported declaration for the APC.”
Explaining the decision of the SDP, Agunloye said: “Fasua is free to go wherever he chooses. It is his personal decision.”
He gave reasons why the party is not considering a sanction against its former governorship candidate dumping the mandate that was freely given to him.
“That sanction may come later, but the truth is that there may not be a need to sanction him. He is alone. The party is intact in Ondo. We saw the tendency earlier. He wanted to defect at the gubernatorial debate, but we prevailed on him,” he said.
Commenting on the Ondo governorship election, elder statesman and former Secretary to the Federal Government , Chief Olu Falae, lamented the absence of issue-based campaign and the resort to base sentiments and strong-arm tactics by political parties and their candidates.