A former deputy governor of Oyo State, Mr. Taofeek Arapaja, has been elected as the new zonal Chairman of the Southwest Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Arapaja, who had the support of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State scored 343 votes to defeat his rival, a former zonal chairman and former governorship candidate of Ondo State, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, who scored 330 votes.
This was announced by the chairman of the congress, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, who was represented by his deputy, Benson Abounu, at the WOCDIF Center, Osogbo, Osun State.
The election had generated into power tussle between Makinde and Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose.
The two PDP chieftains were at loggerheads as regards the leadership of the party in the zone, with Makinde reportedly supported Arapaja while Fayose reportedly supported Olafeso.
However, The New Diplomat had reported that the acrimonious relationship between the duo has finally been settled as they were seen hugging each other at the Congress.
Meanwhile, Olafeso has conceded defeat and promised to work with Arapaja to reposition the party in the South-West.
He also expressed his gratitude to God and everyone that supported him.
In his words, “The storm is over, there is a new beginning for our party. We have to thank God Almighty that depsite odds, there is a new beginning for our party. The time is now. I thank everybody who supported me.”
Reacting to the victory, Arapaja, also commended his co-contestant whom he referred to as “Brother”, for placing the party’s interest above his personal interest by peacefully conceding defeat.
He also appreciated Makinde and Fayose for their roles in the party.
In his words, “We thank Governor Seyi Makinde and former Governor Fayose. It’s our party. We will work together and move the party forward. We want to reposition the party. I will work with my brother Olafeso to achieve our aims.”