Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Few hours to the commencement of the primary election on Saturday by the Osun State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to pick the candidate for the governorship poll on September 22, seven aspirants have withdrawn from the race.
Among them are former Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Adejare Bello, Dr. Ayoade Adewopo, Prof. Adeolu Durotoye, Chief Lere Oyewumi, Jide Adeniji, Felix Ogunwale and Senator Olasunkanmi Akinlabi.
It was gathered that the aspirants’ withdrawal was a collective decision to comply with the appeal by the party leadership to ensure cohesion in the party and the spirit of understanding and oneness.
Those who are now in strong contention are Sen. Ademola Adeleke (younger brother to former governor, Isiaka Adeleke), Akin Ogunbiyi, Fatai Akinbade and Nathaniel Oke.
The exercise which took place at GMT Hotel, Osogbo, the state capital, had scores of national delegates of the party, INEC officials, party and aspirant supporters in attendance.
Over 3,000 delegates were also present to vote for their candidates of choice.
Unlike the All Progressives Congress (APC) that adopted the direct system to conduct its primary election, on Friday, in which Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s Chief of Staff, Gboyega Oyetola emerged the candidate of the party, PDP adopted the indirect (collegiate) system in conducting the election.
The party decided to adopt the system because it believes that it is also democratic, less cumbersome and represents the interests of the party members.
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, who is Chairman of the Electoral Panel held sway in the conduct of the election.