By Mumini AbdulKareem
Strong indications emerged last night that the opposition parties in Kwara State have commenced the process of picking a unilateral candidate to challenge the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 governorship election, National Pilot can reliably report.
The “coalition project” which is the brain child of major opposition alliance in the state is reportedly aimed at presenting a “carefully selected but charismatic” candidate that will be acceptable to all the parties and considered strong enough to lead the coalition parties to victory.
The Chairman of the leading opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyiola Oyedepo confirmed the development during a telephone chat with our reporter, last night.
According to Oyedepo who did not deny that his party is involved in the plan, the development, if allowed to sail through is good for the stakeholders, adding that, “we are thinking of a rancour free exercise”.
Several opposition parties sources who spoke on the issue said that the coalition parties will be painstaking in arriving at a consensus choice which is meant to wrestle power from the ruling APC.
They added that the choice will “be very sensitive to the religious and youthful sentiment that is expected to dominate the political narrative in 2019.
To this end, the coalition has reportedly started putting modalities in place to ensure the successful execution of the plan.
Also, some “preliminary committees” that cut across the coalition have already been set up to commence early ground work on the issue.
Chairman of one of the opposition parties also involved in the project said the coalition arrangement might be the only realistic chance of making headway for the top seat in the state, next year.
A member of one of the “committees” who spoke in confidence because he was not authorised to speak officially on the matter told this medium that “things have already started taking shape” adding that some of them are already holding meetings to work out plan and modalities for a seamless arrangement.
“The plan is to work together to present a consensus candidate that will challenge anybody that would emerge as choice of the APC.
“This time around, we have realised that we have to be strategic if we want to really make progress unlike what we have done in the past.
“When we went to the polls individually, what were we able to make out of it? That is why we have decided to come together and put all our arsenals together to give the coming governorship race our best shot.
“It is similar to what the APC did at the national level for the presidential election in 2015 and we want to emulate that model in the state. So depending on what happens at the top concerning who is moving where among the big wigs across political parties which will be clearer in few days, then we know how to approach the whole issue, back home.
“But whatever the case, we are determined to pull this through this time because of its strategic importance to our collective cause and we consider it a major plan of our quest for honours, come 2019,” he added.