The Oyo State governorship race, on Tuesday, witnessed another twist, with the All Progressives Congress (APC), recording another alliance with a notable political party in the state, the Accord party.
This alliance, according to the hierarchy of the party, was facilitated by Senator Soji Rilwan Adesoji Akanbi, presently representing Oyo South senatorial district, who only recently reunited with the APC from the Action Democratic Congress (ADC) on Saturday, resulting from a high powered meeting with the Vice President, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other APC stalwarts after the presidential and National Assembly elections.
The APC had moved to salvage its loss of the Presidential election in the state by reconciling with Senator Akanbi who was the candidate of the ADC in the Oyo South senatorial election won by PDP’s Kola Balogun.
And so, the Accord Party in Oyo State, today, at a state delegates’ meeting, formally formed an alliance with the All Progressives Congress in the state, ahead of the governorship election on Saturday, March 9, 2019, in a bid to win the state for the APC.
Over 350 members, party leaders and representatives of the Accord Party from all 33 local government areas of Oyo State converged on the Mauve 23 Event Centre in Ring Road Ibadan on Tuesday, March 5 to finalise their terms of support for the ruling party.
Akanbi, at the meeting, told the Accord members that his return to help the APC’s recovery process was hinged on recent reconciliation efforts of the APC national leaders.
He lauded the virtues of President Muhammadu Buhari and emphasised the need to ensure Oyo state aligns with the ruling party to further bring development to the state.
“We are here to cement a relationship that will bring massive development to the state because the ruling party leadership, has the mandate to win in Oyo State. We recognise that we only can win together, and that is why we are calling on fellow progressive-minded people to join the winning side. I enjoin you all to align with the APC to win the gubernatorial elections in the state and ensure progressive change in the interest of the masses”.
The chairman of the Accord in Oyo State, Engr. Muda Ogunsola lauded the senator for placing the masses’ interest first.
He explained that his party’s decision to support the APC in Saturday’s governorship election has been well accepted by all stakeholders in the party and that the national hierarchy of the party had granted the go-ahead for the state chapter to assist the APC to realise its mandate in the governorship elections.
Engineer Muda Ogunsola, while addressing the Accord Party delegates, said, “I am particularly happy that Senator Soji Akanbi facilitated this alliance which we have graciously accepted, in the interest of the progress of the state. We, as a party, realise that his interests are selfless, whilst ensuring that his party claims the state at governorship level. To this end, we can assure Senator Akanbi, the APC and the governorship candidate of their party, that he has our support on Saturday”.
The party delegates also took turns to declare their support and voiced their concerns as regards the coming elections.
This marks a major sign of recovery for the party that suffered a shock defeat in the hands of the main opposition party, PDP in the Presidential election held on Feb 23.
The APC in the state also surrendered the Oyo South senatorial seat and all four federal constituencies in the district to the PDP.
APC’s poor showing in Ibadan metropolis which affected their overall performance is largely blamed on the internal crisis that forced Senator Akanbi to seek re-election on the platform of the ADC after the Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi claimed the party’s ticket from the incumbent senator.
Oyo South became APC’s Achilles heel as Governor Ajimobi was also defeated by the PDP.
The APC will be hoping its recent reconciliation with the governorship candidate of the ADP and also a former governor, Christopher Alao-Akala will produce a similar result, helping the party to win votes in Ogbomoso.
Speaking to journalists after the event, Akanbi said that alliances with other stakeholders was ongoing and that he would, in a few days, ensure that disgruntled or disenfranchised individuals, such as artisans and trade associations within the state would be reconciled with the party, in order to ensure victory at the polls on Saturday and rebuild the party in the state.