Senator Rashidi Ladoja, another key Southwest aspirant in the race for PDP chairmanship, has offered to step down. He joins Bode George, Jimi Agbaje and Gbenga Daniel who had earlier offered to withdraw from the contest.
In his withdrawal note, Gbenga Daniel had said that the reason for quitting was, “In order to sustain the new found peace and renewed confidence of Nigerians in our party and reduce the veiled but potential line of frictions,” adding, “I consider it in the best interest the party to voluntarily withdraw from the Chairmanship race so that we can collectively look for and elect good leaders for the purpose of winning elections in 2019.”
The withdrawals confirm Ripples Nigeria scoop on Friday that aspirants from the Southwest zone had resolved to put forward a consensus candidate, Tunde Adeniran, to challenge Uche Secondus who is believed to enjoy the backing of most PDP governors led by Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
In opting out of the race, Ladoja said, “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.”
He added, “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 Senator Rashidi Ladoja as the convener on Wednesday 6th, Thursday 7th, Friday 8th and Saturday 9th December, 2017 with the sole aim of agreeing on 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 Olusegun Aderemi have withdrawn from the race.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.”
Political watchers believe that the December national convention is PDP’s biggest opportunity to reinvent itself and shed the toga of a party bedeviled by reign of impunity and lack of internal democracy.
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