The Lagos State Coalition of United Parties on Wednesday adopted Dr Adetokunbo Pearse, the gubernatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party as its candidate.
The coalition, led by Oloye Victor Adeniji, the governorship candidate and Lagos State Chairman of Peoples Party of Nigeria announced the endorsement at a news conference in Lagos.
According to Adeniji, Pearse remains a credible alternative governorship candidate owing to his wide experience, education, exposure, integrity and love for the welfare of the masses.
He said that Pearse would make Lagos State a welfare state where the needs of residents would be the priority of the public office holders.
He said: “We, members of the Lagos Coalition of United Parties, have decided to take a deep look at the politics of Lagos.
“We want to create a new government in Lagos State and make sure we defeat APC candidate.
“We have considered Dr Pearse; his personality and his contributions to the politics of Lagos State and Nigeria in general have been most attractive to us.
“In fact, his integrity as a man of the people and he being a Senior Lecturer at the University of Lagos, mentoring our youths is noteworthy. He has been a great organiser.
“We decided to give him our support and all our energy to make him the next governor of Lagos State.
“To this end, we members of the Lagos Coalition of United Parties today here announce our adoption and endorsement of Dr Pearse as our consensus candidate for governorship of Lagos State.”
According to him, the coalition has set machinery in motion for members and foot soldiers of the coalition to embark on unique campaign on issues.
He urged the people to vote SDP that would serve their interest and reduce their burdens, and give them essentials of life
Adeniji said: “We know that our candidate will bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. The essence of government is welfare and security of lives and property.’’
In his response, Pearse thanked the coalition for the confidence reposed in him in adopting and endorsing him.
He said: “I am reinvigorated by this endorsement and will go back on the campaign train to let the people of Lagos know our plan to renew Lagos.
“We will build the 4th Mainland Bridge, complete the light rail project, fix our decaying roads, complete the Epe-Ijebu express road and build a comprehensive water transportation system.
“We will also set up a housing subsidy programmes, while encouraging a public-private partnership in providing low-income housing. My SDP is a social welfare party.”
According to Pearse, since the only weapon to fight poverty is education, effort will be made to reposition the state’s education system if he emerges winner of the poll.
He said: “We are committed to free education for students through secondary school, free healthcare for children to the age of 18 as well as for the elderly and most vulnerable.
“We will increase funding for education, and increase the number of technical and vocational institutes in the state from 5 to 15 within four years.
“I will run a God-fearing administration, accountability to the people and not to some avaricious godfather.”
He urged the coalition to campaign and work together to win the election and deliver an efficient, compassionate and accountable administration to the people.
At the endorsement were the Chairmen of the other parties in the coalition.
They include: Democratic People Party, Folorunsho Owolabi-Are; Community Party of Nigeria, Adeniji Tao; and Hope Democratic Party, Tunji Olajuwon.
Others are: Oluwatoyin Olabode, We The People of Nigeria; Sokunle Akanni, Youth Party and Hassan Adegbenro, Modern Democratic Party.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that SDP state party executives, candidates, among others were also in attendance.