PDP chieftain congratulates party on successful congress
Yinka Salaam, Osogbo
Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former governorship aspirant in Osun State, has congratulated the leaders and stakeholders of the PDP for the successful conclusion of the Southwest Zonal Congress on Monday.
In a keenly contested election, Mr Taofeek Arapaja from Oyo State emerged as the Chairman with 343 votes to defeat Mr Eddy Olafeso from Ekiti State who scored 330 votes.
Total ballots cast was 675 out of which 10 were voided.
In a release signed by Dr Ogunbiyi, he said, “I rejoice with Amb. Taofeek Arapaja, who was returned as the South-West Zonal Chairman of the PDP. I also congratulate all the elected officers of our party.
“As we all step forward in high hope and renewed rigour to reform our party, I wish you all the best and thank our frontline leaders Gov Seyi Makinde, former governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former governor Ayodele Fayose, Hon. Olasoji Adagunodo, our BOT members and a host of others.
“But for their respect for our great party and the will of the people, what ended as a free and peaceful congress might have turned out to be chaotic as widely speculated.”
While congratulating the Muslim faithful on the commencement of Ramadan fasting, Ogunbiyi noted that with the peaceful and successful conduct of the congresses, PDP members have truly proved to the world that their commitment to whatever and whoever benefits humanity remains sacrosanct.
Voting had commenced at around 4:45 pm after both Governor Makinde and Mr Fayose addressed the delegates who left the voting hall immediately after they had lined up to cast their votes.
Makinde addresses delegates
In a speech ahead of voting, Makinde addressed the delegates saying, “This is a family affair. It is an attempt to reposition our party in the Southwest. It has implications for our party nationally. Whatever the outcome is, we will take it in the spirit of a family contest. We don’t want to defeat ourselves, we want to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“At the end of this exercise, there will be no victor, no vanquish. As the only Governor of the party in the zone, whoever emerges, I will work with them to reposition the party.”
Fayose, who went straight to embrace Governor Makonde on entering the hall, acknowledged the leadership of the governor and also appealed for calm.
“Governor Seyi Makinde is our leader. Our supporters and lovers should not continue to put wenge in between us. Either way, this election goes, I will accept. Though Arapaja has abused me so much, I will be the first person to visit him in Ibadan. Nobody has offended me and if I have offended anybody, I sincerely apologise. Seyi Makinde remains our father come what may”, he said.
Eddy Olafeso concedes defeat
Responding to the outcome of the exercise, Eddy Olafeso conceded defeat and promised to work with Arapaja.
“The storm is over, this is a new beginning for our party. We have to thank God Almighty that despite odds, there is a new beginning for our party. The time is now. I thank everybody who supported me,” he said.
Arapaja’s Victory speech
In his acceptance speech, Arapaja thanked Governor Makinde and former governor Fayose, promising to work together with all interest groups and move the party forward.
“We want to reposition the party. I will work with my brother Olafeso to achieve our aims,” he pledged.
Other members of the new Southwest Exco are:
- Secretary – Chief Rahaman Owokoniran
- Treasurer- Mr Samson Omotoyosi
- Org/Sec- Barr Amuwa Benson
- Pub/Sec- Chief Olusanya Atofarati
- Fin/Sec- Adewoyin Rasaq Babarinde
- Legal-Barr. Gbenga Kukoyi
- Auditor- Adeola Adewumi
- Women/L- Modinat Bosede Adedibu
- Youth/L- Bamidele Seyi Abiola
- Zonal Ex/Of- Adeola Santos
- Zonal Ex/Of- Modupe Adetokunbo
- Zonal Ex/Of- Araoye Sikiru
- Zonal Ex/ Of- Olugbenga Idowu
- Zonal Ex/Of- Segun Adewale Aeroland
- Zonal Ex/Of- Lanre Fajuyi
- Natl Ex/Of- Olakunle Paul
- Natl Ex/Of-David Kolawole
- Natl Ex-Of- Ogunrinde Emmanuel
- Natl Ex- Faboyede Clement
- Natl Ex- Taiwo Kabiru
- Natl Ex- Oluwakemi Olayiwola.