PDP Nat’l: I Was Approached To Contest… — How Oyinlola Rejected Appeal To Step Down For Arapaja

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    Nigerian Tribune has got more details on how erstwhile national vice-chairman (SouthWest) of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja humbled Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola in the election of deputy national chairman (South) at the party’s convention held on Saturday in Abuja. PDP, in the early hours of Sunday, elected Professor Iyorchia Ayu as its new national chairman, alongside 20 other members of the new National Working Committee (NWC) that will take office December 9.

    The Nigerian Tribune learnt that the election came amid failed last-ditch attempts by governors elected under the party to get former governor of Osun State to step down for Arapaja as the anointed candidate for the post of the national deputy chairman (South) of PDP. 

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    Following a decision to back Arapaja for the post, the governors had invited Oyinlola to a meeting where they appealed to him to step aside in the interest of the party. 

    But Oyinlola was said to have told the governors that he was on his own when he was approached to contest for the National Working Committee (NWC) post. 

    However, worried by the negative message a lack of consensus going into the convention might cause, the governors resolved to send emissaries to his house to continue their pressure on him. 

    Five of the governors were said to have besieged Oyinlola’s house in Abuja, on Thursday night, with “a proposal,” which sources said did not appeal to him. 

    Details of the said proposal were not disclosed by the sources. 

    When the governors realised that they were not making any headway, they decided to allow Oyinlola and Arapaja to contest, but state delegates were mobilised for the ex-Oyo deputy governor. 

    Sources added that the other PDP governors resolved to throw their full weight behind Ambassador Arapaja because of the overall interest of PDP in the South-West in subsequent elections, especially the 2023 general election. 

    At the poll proper, Arapaja garnered 2,004 votes to defeat Oyinlola, who polled 705 votes, while a total of 165 votes were declared invalid. 

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