The former governor of Oyo State, Chief Rashidi Ladoja has withdrawn his ambition to become the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the ongoing National Convention.
Joining Chief Bode George who also withdrew from race in protest last night was Mr. Jimi Agbaje, a former Lagos State governorship aspirant.
The last minute decision of the Southwest candidates also involved the withdrawal of Olusegun Aderemi from the chairmanship race to pave way for a consensus candidate, in the person of the former Ambassador to Germany, Prof. Tunde Adeniran.
The latest information from the Eagle Square, the venue of the National Convention of PDP, the candidates resolved; â€œTo reciprocate this laudable gestures, meetings of the seven (7) aspirants were held with Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja as the convener on Wednesday 6, Thursday 7, Friday 8 and Saturday 9, December with the sole aim of agreeing on a consensus candidate.
â€œWe 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.
â€œSince then, Mr Jimi Agbaje, Chief Oladobe George, Senator Rashidi Ladoja and Mr Olusegun Aderemi have withdrawn from the race.
â€œAccordingly, I am of the opinion that Professor Tunde Adeniran should become our consensus candidate for the South-West zone.
â€œI 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, PDP,â€ Ladoja said.
Meanwhile, Rashidi Ladoja, was quoted to have taken his decision to withdraw from the race to prune down the number of candidates from the South West in order to give the region chances of clinching the chairmanship position.
He said in his statement to the chairman of the convention, Governor Okowa; â€œI, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, an aspirant for the national chairmanship position hereby formally inform you of my decision to withdraw from the race.
â€œHaving given a deep consideration to the circumstances in respect of the said race, particularly as it concerns the multiplicity of aspirants from the South-West and in common interest and the good of my zone, the South-West and our great party, the only choice open to me is to bow out of the race.
â€œThis decision is also to produce the desired outcome of a sole consensus candidate to represent the South-West zone and thereby improve the chances of the candidate.
â€œPlease accept the assurances of my high respect and kind regards,â€ Ladoja said in the letter which was copied to the national caretaker committee chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
Jimi Agbaje said he took his own decision because of the inability of the South-West PDP to pick a consensus candidate has affected the chances of the region to produce the next chairman.
He, however, said he was willing to cooperate with anyone who emerged as the chairman of the party.
Agbaje is the second aspirant to step down after Chief Bode George made a similar move last night.
Agbaje said, â€œOur great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, has, from inception, adopted certain principles, which have evenly balanced offices amongst the countryâ€™s geo-political zones. In line with such and other parameters, I have, at different fora, expressed my strong belief that the next National Chairman should come from the South-West.
â€œI am however convinced that with sevenn out of all nine aspirants coming from the South-West, this multiplicity of contenders will work to the detriment of our zone when it comes to voting.
â€œDelegatesâ€™ votes split seven ways will not produce a chairman from the South-West. It therefore becomes necessary to prune our number down to no more than two.
â€œWith less than 24 hours to the convention, I have painfully decided to withdraw from the race hoping that others will join me in bringing down the number such that the South-West can have a fighting chance of clinching the National Chairmanship of the PDP.â€
It would be recalled that Chief Bode George withdrew from the race in protest. He said PDP is heading for destruction in its resolve to continue with impunity that was responsible for its loss in the 2015 general elections to APC.
www.sojworld.com Â© December 9, 2017