Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, the candidate backed by the camp of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, got 343 votes to emerge new South-West Zonal Vice Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party on Monday.
Dr Eddy Olafeso backed by the camp of ex-governor Ayo Fayose got a total of 330 votes.
Announcing the votes scored by the candidates, the Chairman of the congress committee, Dr Benson Abounu, said 684 voters were accredited.
Abounu added that 674 votes were cast, while 10 votes were voided.
He subsequently declared Arapaja as the winner of the poll having scored the highest lawful votes in the contest.
In his speech, Olafeso conceded defeat, saying the he gave the contest his best efforts.
“The storm is over; there is a new beginning for our party. We have to thank God that despite odds, there is a new beginning for our party. The time is now. I thank everybody who supported me,” Olafeso said.
Also speaking, the Vice Chairman elect, Arapaja, promised to reposition the party.
Arapaja said, “We thank Governor Seyi Makinde and former governor Fayose. 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.”
For the post of Zonal Publicity Secretary, Adesanya Atofarati who got 327 defeated George Fadaka who polled 317.
For the post of Zonal Secretary, Rahaman Owokoniran got 338 to defeat Bunmi Jenyo, who got 328.
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Benson Amuwa was elected Zonal Organising Secretary, having polled 326, while Fasiu Bakene got 301 votes.
Before the voting, Makinde and Foyese addressed the congress.
Makinde described the congress as family affair and an attempt to reposition the party in the region.
“ Whatever the outcome is, we will take it in the spirit of a family contest. We don’t want to defeat ourselves, we want to defeat the All Progressives Congress,” Makinde said.
Fayose, before addressing the congress, had moved to where Makinde, ex-governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and ex-governor Segun Oni sat and embraced Makinde.
The ex-Ekiti governor declared Makinde the leader of the party and promised to work with whoever emerged winner at the congress.
“Even though Arapaja has abused me so much, I will be the first person to visit him in Ibadan. Nobody has offended me and if I have offended anybody, I sincerely apologise. Seyi Makinde remains our father come what may.”