Adebayo Alao-Akala, a former Governor of Oyo State, has withdrawn from the race to become the Governor of Oyo State and endorsed Adebayo Adelabu, the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Alao-Akala revealed his decision in a statement signed by Wale Ohu, Director General, Akala Campaign Organisation.
This is coming days after the former Governor met with Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The statement read: “Following the outcome of the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections, the Alao-Akala Campaign of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) has decided to go into an alliance with the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adebayo Adekola Adelabu, ahead of the March 9th governorship and state elections in the state.
“However, all Action Democratic Party (ADP) candidates contesting for the House of Assembly seats will go into the elections with the full support of His Excellency, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala.
“This serves as the true position of things against the rumoured defection of Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala into the APC.”
Alao-Akala stated that the coalition talks, among other major parties in the state, broke down due to personal interest of candidates.
He said: “For the benefit of hindsight, the unfortunate breakdown of alliance talks with the main opposition parties in Oyo State vis-a-vis our great party, the Action Democratic Party (ADP), the African Democratic Party (ADC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), which the former Governor of Oyo State and Osi Olubadan, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja initiated, is not but unconnected with the fact that, personal interest and sentiments over-rided the general interest of the people of Oyo State.
“The diverse and unachievable interest that pervaded the coalition amongst other connected issues that were raised and left unanswered led to the pull out from the coalition talks.
“So also, against the spirit of equality, justice and fairness, the decision of certain interest within the coalition parties to narrow down the face of the coalition to a particular zone of the state also contributed largely to the breakdown of the coalition talks.
“Left with no other option upon being approached by the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to help salvage the party in Oyo State and with the promise of the APC gubernatorial candidate Bayo Adelabu expressing his readiness to work with the Action Democratic Party, adopt and implement the core values of our party and its manifesto and the intervention of the presidency hinged on our performance at the last elections and grassroots network not only in Ogbomoso but also in other parts of the state, His Excellency, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala accepted to support Bayo Adelabu of the All Progressives Congress for the gubernatorial election."
Alao-Akala, who was governor of he state between 2007 and 2011, was seeking to be governor again under the platform of the Action Democratic Party (ADP).
He lost his first time attempt at a second term in 2011 to Abiola Ajimobi, the current governor and member of the APC.
He contested again in 2015 and lost to Ajimobi who was then seeking reelection.