The immediate former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) South-West, Dr Eddy Olafeso has defended his decision to concede defeat in the last Monday election, saying his personal ambition should not scuttle the party’s unity and development.
Olafeso who disclosed this while speaking in Akure, Ondo state capital, said he conceded defeat to give peace a chance in the South-West and move forward to build a stronger and virile PDP that can win future elections.
According to him, a lot of things went wrong during the congress, saying the whole process was fraught with irregularities but said he had put it behind him to give peace a chance in the PDP South-West.
“As far as the South West Zonal Congress is concerned, it’s about giving peace a chance even in the face of over-voting, security threat, voided votes to deliberately rig me out and the use of thugs.”
“There are a lot of things the public didn’t know about the Congress. There are a lot of flaws and frauds. But as a party man who has been a member of the PDP for 22 years, I decided to give peace a chance in the PDP Southwest.
“It’s a fact they used thugs; it is obvious and should be noted how the rules were broken when Oyo State people were to cast their votes.
“They broke the rules when they merged all the tables and the people of Oyo state were writing together against the doctrine of a secret ballot system used for the conduct of the election when the other fives states voted.
“The implication of this was that Mr A could see what Mr B wrote. The people could not vote according to their conscience as it was no more a secret ballot system like what was done in the other five states who participated in the Congress.
“Apart from the controversial delegates list from Oyo state, it may interest you to also know that ten out of my votes were voided. Ten votes were voided against me and also, a clear case of over-voting was established”
Olafeso claimed the Fayose’s group is committed to the victory of PDP in all elections, “Our group is committed to the victory of PDP in all elections. This is why we decided to give peace a chance so that the ruling APC won’t take advantage of the crisis”
“I have not left the party since 1999 and I will not leave the party for any time to come. Someone needs to make a sacrifice for the progress and future of the party ahead of future elections.
” The storm must be over and that’s why no matter the circumstance, we have let go and put PDP above us.”
When asked if he was happy about the outcome of the Congress, given the above insight, Olafeso said, “Why won’t I be happy. I am happy. We are all happy because the outcome of the election has revealed so many things. People already knew what they didn’t know before.
“The slim margin of win is obvious despite all the aforementioned and it speaks volumes that we all need ourselves to win future elections in the Southwest.
” We have been able to establish that the PDP belong to all of us and that we all need ourselves to drive the party to the promised land.
“Going by the speech made by the South West Zonal Chairman-elect, I expect him by now to reach out to leaders and stakeholders, if he does that, it is fantastic; if he doesn’t, politics is a process. I’m committed to giving peace a chance and this we have done,”
It would be recalled that Mr Taofeek Arapaja defeated Olafeso to become the PDP Chairman in the South-West at just concluded congress of the party, polling 343 votes to defeat Olafeso, who got 330 votes.