Ahead of Saturday’s Governorship and State House of Assembly elections, nine political parties have thrown their weight behind the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ladipupo Adebutu, in Ogun state.
The parties announced the development at a programme they held in Abeokuta, the capital of the state, on Friday.
The incumbent governor, Dapo Abiodun, is seeking reelection as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which won the presidential and National Assembly elections in the state on 25 February.
Speaking at the programme, the Deputy Governorship candidate of the PDP, Adekunle Akinlade, admitted that the party cannot beat the APC at the polls without the collaboration and support of other political parties.
Mr Akinlade further accused Governor Abiodun of planning to rig the elections.
Mr Akinlade said: “PDP alone cannot beat APC in Ogun State. We need to be ready to share. We need to collaborate with other parties.
“What is important is that we win and rescue Ogun State. This election, it is clear that Abiodun is going to rig. What happened last Saturday is possible again, but we will not allow them to do it again. This is why we need to collaborate to make rigging impossible for them. Rigging is possible where there is no collaboration. We cannot do it alone.”
The parties which declared support for the PDP are:
Accord Party (AP),
Action Alliance (AA),
Action Democratic Party (ADP),
All Peoples Party (APP),
Allied People’s Movement (APM),
Because Of Our Tomorrow (BOOT party),
African Action Congress (AAC),
Young Progressive Progressive Party (YPP) and
the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
The Governorship candidate of the PDP, while addressing members of the nine parties, said the move became imperative following the outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly elections last Saturday.
Mr Adebutu vowed that the PDP would not allow the APC to rig it out of the governorship election this time.
He appealed to the parties to in truth work with the PDP to unseat the Governor.
Mr Adebutu said: “If we don’t act our role and we allow him (Abiodun) again, if we allow him to fulfil his desire to be Governor, we would have failed and that will be the end of Ogun State, we would have lost the opportunity to save the State.
“If Peter Obi and Abubakar Atiku had worked together, we would have won the election even despite all the rigging and that is why we must have the confluence, we must have the association we are having today.
“We must unite, as pieces of one another we will not get anywhere. These people (APC) are in government, they have the power of incumbency, naturally, they have more money.
“We can help save the situation by coming together and saving Ogun State. Nine parties plus PDP means 10, 10 of us joined together can make a success of it.
“We are all together and in being together we will all be co-partners in this movement, we must know that we are fighting for the life of our State, not only our political lives, we are fighting for the life of our State, we are fighting for the welfare and wellbeing of our people.
“We shall win because even where the system failed, we are ready to mend and plug the difference. We know what they (APC) did and we shall make sure what they did will not work this time.”
In his remarks, the chairperson of Action Alliance (AA), Sanyaolu Abayomi, said the parties decided to endorse Mr Adebutu after a thorough evaluation of the frontline candidates.
At another programme on Saturday, the defeated House of Representatives candidate of the Labour Party, Tolulope Philips, also endorsed Mr Adebutu.
Mr Philips contested the seat for Abeokuta South federal constituency but lost to the APC candidate, Afolabi Afuape.
Speaking at the event, Mr Tolulope said he decided to work for Mr Adebutu because the Labour Party has no governorship candidate in the state.
He described the PDP candidate as the most credible among the governorship contestants in the state.
“Labour Party has no Governorship candidate. What we want in Ogun is progress. Don’t consider Saturday, let’s consider the aftermath. I didn’t collect anything from APC and PDP. I am doing this because I want to get the dividend of democracy for our people in Ogun state. We must not allow our state to continue like this.