Osogbo, (An24)- The younger brother of the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Ademola, has picked the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party to contest the July 8 by-election to fill the vacant Osun-West senatorial district seat at the Senate.
Adeleke, who withdrew from the primary of the All Progressives Congress on Tuesday night, defected to the PDP the same day and clinched his new party’s sole ticket on Wednesday after other PDP aspirants agreed to step down for him.
The two PDP aspirants, who were earlier jostling to pick the tdown based on the appeals from the leaders of the party from within and outside Osun State.
A retired soldier, Colonel Olayiwola Falabi, who was the first to address the delegates, said all aspirants agreed to step down for the new entrant in the overall interest of the party.
A former Minister of Youth Development, Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, who had represented the district at the Senate at a time, also announced to the delegates that he had stepped down.
Olasunkanmi said, “I did not step down for Ademola Adeleke, I stepped down for the party.”
There were fears that Olasunkanmi, who was the PDP candidate during the last senatorial election in the district might not agree to step down, but he eventually stepped down and the three of them embraced one another.
The Election Committee of the PDP headed by Chief Pegba Otemolu, conducted the election for delegates from the 10 local government areas making up the senatorial district and Adeleke emerged as the sole candidate of the party.
The Chairman of the PDP in Osun State, Soji Adagunodo, said the PDP had 100 strategies it intended to deploy to win the by-election, saying the party just used one out of it with the adoption of Adeleke as the partyhe adoption of Adeleke as the party’s consensus candidate.
He said, “What you are seeing here today is the sign of good things to come in the PDP.”
Meanwhile, several members of the APC thronged the venue of the party’s primary held at the Dele Yes Sir area of Egbedore, where Senator Mudashiru Hussain emerged as the candidate of the ruling party.
Although voting was still going on as of the time of filing this report, Hussain was the only aspirant of the party remaining in the race, following the withdrawal of Adeleke from the race in the APC.
Hussain had represented the senatorial district at the Senate between 2011 and 2015 but he was asked to step down for the late Adeleke when the deceased defected to the APC from the PDP shortly before the 2014 governorship election in the state.
He was, however, appointed as a commissioner by Governor Rauf Aregbsola and was inaugurated as the Commissioner for Cabinet Matters on May 31, 2017.
The Screening/ Election Committee of the APC disqualified him, saying he did not resign 30 days before the election date as allegedly stipulated by the guidelines of the party.
The APC Appeal Committee also upheld his disqualification but the National Working Committee of the APC overturned the disqualification, saying the screening and appeal committees were wrong to disqualify him.
The Chairman of the Osun APC, Prince Gboyega Famodun, said the peaceful way Hussain emerged was a reflection of the party’s adherence to democratic ideals.
He said, “The APC is a party rooted in democratic ideals. We have the capacity to resolve our differences amicably at all times. The popularity of our governor, our candidate and our party will ensure victory for us in the senatorial election.”