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PDP Congress: Makinde, Fayose reconcile, as Arapaja defeats Olafeso by 13 votes

…49-year-old youth leader contestant disqualified by committee

 

 

The highly anticipated Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) South-West zonal congress held yesterday in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, with both Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, vowing to accept the outcome of the election.

 

Former Governor Fayose, who surprised stalwarts and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after he declared that Governor Makinde remains his leader in the party, also apologized.

 

 

The leadership tussle between Makinde and Fayose over the control of the zone had been on for a while and also generated verbal confrontations. But both leaders publicly embraced each other at the congress.

 

Meanwhile, Arapaja, the anointed candidate of Governor Makinde, has defeated Olafeso, Fayose’s candidate, by 13 votes. After collation of result, Arapaja polled 343 while Olafeso polled 330 votes.

 

A total of 684 delegates were accredited for the election, while 10 votes were voided. Speaking before the commencement of the congress, Fayose said, “Seyi Makinde is my leader. He is our leader and remains our leader. Enemies should not come in between us because we      are one.

 

“The Governor of Oyo State, Governor Seyi Makinde, my brother, my friend and by the grace of God, our leader.”

 

The ex-Ekiti State governor also apologised to members of the party not in his faction for all they have all gone through over the years. “I and Seyi Makinde are one from the beginning,”

 

Fayose said, praying that the tenure of Makinde as the party leader in the South-West will usher the PDP into a season of great accomplishments. “Nothing lasts forever, if I offend anybody, I apologise,” he added.

 

On his part, Governor Makinde described the exercise as a family affair and charged all party members to take the outcome of the election without causing problems. “We are to reposition the party and whatever the outcome,

 

it will be taken as family affairs. At the end of the exercise, there will be no victor, no loser and whoever that wins will have my support and I will work with him.”

 

The venue of the con  gress, Wocdiff Centre, Osogbo, was fully secured with security personnel and only identified party members were allowed entrance after proper identification.

 

Chairman of the Electoral/ Congress Committee, Governor Samuel Ortom, represented by his deputy, Benson Abounu, alongside other members of the committee, received the delegates’ tags and other voting materials at 11.20 am.

 

Although voting started behind schedule, the 473 accredited delegates took turn to cast their votes according to their states.

 

Meanwhile, the Electoral Committee for the congress disqualified a contestant as the South West zonal youth leader, Femi Adetola, for being 49 years of age. Adetola had, in the form submitted filled 4th September 1972 as date of birth meaning that he is 49 years old.

 

The concerned candidate, Adetola, who is among the unity list on the Eddy Olafeso side, subsequently rose and accepted the disqualification. The disqualification of Adetola leaves Bamidele Seyi Abiola, on the Taofeek Arapaja side, as the only candidate for the youth leader position.

 

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