The three major parties for the 2019 Oyo State gubernatorial election are locked in a bitter war of words over Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s successor.
They are the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Mr. Bayo Adelabu is the aspirant of the APC for the poll, Seyi Makinde is the PDP’s standard-bearer and Chief Bolaji Ayorinde is representing the SDP.
The APC’s Director of Media, Research and Strategies, Dr. AbdulAzeez Olatunde told correspondent that the huge crowd that thronged the venue as Adelabu kicked off his campaign for the election in Ibadan on Friday was a testimony of the popularity of the APC in the state due to the Ajimobi government’s performance.
Mr. Olatunde stated, “The Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes in its press conference ahead of its 69th birthday party for the governor claimed that he had indeed delivered on his electoral promises. If that unambiguous open declaration is not vote of confidence in the APC and by extension Adelabu, March 2019 will soon be here.”
On his part, spokesman for the Seyi Makinde Campaign Council, Mr. Dotun Oyelade, said, “Makinde has a massive advantage over others. He’s the only candidate who was not chosen by a godfather, and unblemished because for the past seven years has been using his hard-earned money to sponsor his political ambition.
“He is convinced that Adelabu of the APC who was selected at the last minute has traded off the wealth of Oyo State to their leader in Lagos.”
The SDP chairman in the state, Chief Niyi Ajewole, said Ayorinde is the best candidate to succeed the outgoing governor, denying reports the party had adopted Makinde.
Chief Ajewole said, “The national headquarters of the SDP made it abundantly clear that the party is not joining any coalition but forging ahead to contest and win the forthcoming general elections. Our candidate is a reputable legal practitioner.
He stands out above any other aspirant being paraded by any other political party in Oyo State”.
Gov. Ajimobi, supported by the state party executives on Friday, officially presented Adelabu and other APC candidates for next year’s polls to the public in Oke Ado, Ibadan.
Mr. Ajimobi denied that Adelabu was imposed on him, just as he boasted that all the APC candidates would win the 2019 elections in the state.
At the launching of Makinde’s running mate, Alhaji Rauf Olaniyan, at Premier Hotel, Ibadan, three former ministers – Prof Taoheed Adedoja, Mrs. Jumoke Akinjide and Elder Wole Oyelese – were present alongside Dr. Saka Balogun, Senator Robert Koleoso and Alhaja Bose Adedibu.
The former ministers, who spoke on the occasion, expressed confidence that the PDP would take over power from the ruling APC in 2019.
Mr. Seyi Makinde said the electorate were eagerly waiting for the PDP to bring back the era of prosperity and abundant life through a reinvigorated agricultural policy, social welfare for youths and the elderly to make the state self-sufficient and vibrant.