Determined to break the stronghold of the Ajimobi led All Progressives Congress (APC) government in Oyo state, the war weary Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is set to join forces with the Accord Party to carry the day in the governorship poll set to hold on Saturday.
This is occurring as the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi has been plotting to break a long-standing political jinx in Oyo state by emerging as the First governor to rule the state for the two terms back to back.
Accord Party led by former governor, Rashidi Ladoja is said to be considering the option of embracing a faction of PDP willing to work with it amid suspicion that the party was yet to show strong commitment for the accord to work.
The candidate of PDP in Oyo state, Senator Teslim Folarin, according to findings believes he is strong enough to defeat Ajimobi in the coming governorship poll and hence has been expressing surprises that some of his dependable supporters were seeking a political alliance with Ladoja.
The planned accord between disaffected members of PDP in Oyo state has started signalling that Folarin will be approaching the Saturday’s governorship election with a divided house since majority of PDP members who contested the Primary of the party with him had ditched him.
Those who are set to join the Accord party in fight against APC in Oyo state include members who disagreed with the leadership on the manner the party was being run, and which they insisted led its crushing defeat during the last presidential election.
Some leaders of PDP were accused of failing to show fairness in the distribution of huge sums of money released to the party from Abuja, amid more allegations that those who took possession of the largesse decided to convert them into personal uses.
A top member of PDP confirmed the move by some key members to go into an alliance with the Accord Party which he said they believed has the capacity and the grassroots following to stop the Ajimobi’s government in Oyo state.
He promised to offier more update on the planned PDP/Accord alliance with more meetings to be held with officials of the two parties ahead of the Saturday’s poll.
Meanwhie,, the Accord Party has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of conniving with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the elections.
But the APC in the state has told Ladoja to desist from his alleged sponsorship of falsehood against the present administration in his bid to mislead the electorate and get their sympathy.
The Director-General, Ladoja Campaign Organisation, Mr. Adeolu Adeleke, while addressing newsmen in Ibadan on Monday, made the allegation.
According to him, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Ambassador Rufus Akeju, and the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who is seeking re-election on the platform of APC, allegedly held two secret meetings before March 28 elections and another meeting after the exercise.
Adeleke, who said the last elections were fraught with irregularities such as voting in the night, inadequate election materials, unavailability of result sheets and recording of election results on sheets of papers, further alleged that INEC has released a number of unclaimed permanent voter cards (PVCs) in the state to APC members, adding that APC supporters purportedly used the cards to vote on March 28 and have also been planning to use them on Saturday.
While contending that INEC officials drove out agents of Accord and other parties from the polling booths on March 28 so that voters could be purportedly accredited with another people’s PVCs, he warned that Accord and other opposition parties in the state would resist any attempt to rig the governorship/House of Assembly polls.
“We are very much aware based on the information available to us that they have perfected another means of rigging the forthcoming governorship/House of Assembly elections in favour of APC candidate.
“I am using this opportunity to tell the whole world that all efforts must be put in place, and we are going to use all means within our disposal to resist the plans on the state governor and the REC to circumvent the plans of the people of Oyo State to change the will of the people to change the undemocratic government in the state to a democratic one.
“Majority of the unclaimed cards have been given out to the APC members in the state, and most of the cards were used in the last elections. I am calling on the local and international election observers to come down to Oyo State for proper monitoring of the elections.
Also, the chairman of INEC, Prof Attahiru Jega, should as a matter of expediency relocate to Oyo State to avert ugly incident that may come out of the conspiracy between the state governor and the INEC Resident Electoral Commission,” Adeleke said.
The APC fingered Ladoja in the spread of various rumours, which were said to have been designed to set different segment of the residents of the state against Ajimobi.
In a statement issued in Ibadan by the APC Director of Publicity and Strategy, Mr. Olawale Sadare, the party reiterated its threat to force Ladoja into retirement from politics by denying him or his sponsored candidates any victory at the 2015 general elections since he, Ladoja, would not bow out honourably owing to an alleged greediness.
The Resident Electoral Commission in the state, Ambassador Rufus Akeju, in a post election media chat said any political party that assumed that an election administrator could alter or manipulate an election result must be living in the past, adding that the current electoral system has a lot of in-built mechanism to checkmate electoral fraud and manipulations.
He advised the politicians that have been condemning and protesting the outcome of the March 28 elections in the state to assemble their facts, gather their documents and head for the election petition tribunal.