Politics

How Makinde Emerged As South-West PDP Leader

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Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, is officially the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the south-west as his candidate, Taofeek Arapaja won the national vice-chairman (southwest) seat of the party.

Arapaja, a former deputy governor of Oyo state, was declared winner of the hotly contested poll by the chairman of the congress and Benue state deputy governor, Benson Abounu, on the evening of Monday.

It was gathered that Arapaja, who belongs to the camp of Makinde — the only PDP governor in the south-west — polled 343 votes to defeat Eddy Olafeso, who scored 330.

Channels TV reports that Olafeso is of the camp of former Ekiti governor Ayo Fayose.

Recall the duo of Makinde and Fayose had been at loggerheads over the leadership of the PDP in the southwest, leading to an internal crisis that almost torn the party apart.

The two were supporting different aspirants for the chairmanship position hours to the congress in Osogbo, Osun state capital.

However, efforts to reconcile them eventually paid off as Fayose apologised for the ruckus caused by his actions, describing Governor Makinde as “our leader”.

He said: “The issue at this congress is circumstantial, the question is who is our leader, Governor Seyi Makinde is our leader. Therefore, our supporters and lovers should not be putting a wedge between us.

“I and Seyi Makinde are one from the beginning. Distinguish leaders, I want to assure you that we will make exploits together and anywhere it goes, I will accept.

“In any family, where there is cause to vote, there will be a divide, but I assure you, wherever it goes, I will abide.”

His candidate, Olafeso also conceded defeat and promised to work with Arapaja.

“The storm is over, there 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.

The new PDP national vice-chairman (southwest), Arapaja thanked Governor Makinde and the ex-governor Fayose about the outcome of the congress.

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