A national chairmanship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja, has urged South West national chairmanship aspirants to adopt former Minister of Education, Tunde Adeniran as the sole candidate from the region at the ongoing Elective National Convention of the party.
Ladoja’s appeal came barely hours after former Lagos State governorship aspirant, Jimi Agbaje withdrew from the contest.
Agbaje who reacted via his Twitter handle, hinged his decision on the need to have a consensus candidate from the region.
Recall that former deputy national chairman, Bode George, had on the eve of the Saturday convention withdrew from the contest.
He hinged his withdrawal on the refusal of the party to micro-zone the chairmanship to South West and the unguarded statements by the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, on the Yoruba race.
He, however, stressed that he is not withdrawing for any aspirant.
With this development, the other aspirants in the race are: Adeniran; former deputy national chairman, Uche Secondus; media mogul Raymond Dokpesi; former Minister of Youths and Sports, Taoheed Adedoja and ex-governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel.
However in a letter of withdrawal personally signed by Ladoja, he appealed to other South West aspirants to back Adeniran’s aspiration.
He said the decision to adopt the ex-Minister was in light of request from party stakeholders from other zones, which culminated in Northern stakeholders issuing a communique on their preference for a South West candidate.
He added that since a number of aspirants have stepped down, Adeniran should be adopted as the candidate from the region.
The statement reads: “At the close of nominations, seven aspirants from the South West Zone obtained and returned nomination forms for the position of the National Chairman of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“From consultations with stakeholders from various zones, we gathered that from all zones, the stakeholders who preferred to back the South West Zone for the position suggested that we should prune down the number, if possible, to one person.
“The Northern stakeholders went to the extent of stating clearly in a Communique, after their meeting, their preference for a South West Candidate.
“To reciprocate these laudable gestures, meetings of the seven aspirants were held with Rashidi Ladoja as the convener on Wednesday 6th, Thursday 7th, Friday 8th and Saturday 9th December, 2017 with the sole aim of agreeing a consensus candidate. We all agreed that the chances of one person winning are better than those of seven people who are likely to divide the votes coming to the zone.
“Since then, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Chief Olabode George, Senator Rashidi Ladoja and Mr. Olusegun Aderemi have withdrawn from the race.
“Accordingly I am of the opinion that Professor Tunde Adeniran should become our consensus candidate for the South West Zone.
“I am hereby appealing to all lovers of the South West Zone to support the candidature of Professor Tunde Adeniran to clinch the position of the National Chairman of our great party, the PDP”.
In his address at the event, the outgoing Chairman, PDP National Caretaker Committee Ahmed Makarfi, said the committee was able to lay a solid foundation for the repositioning of the party by turning it into a beautiful bride.