Former Senate leader, Tesilim Folarin has emerged the People’s Democratic Party PDP Governorship candidate for Oyo State at the 2015 general elections.
Folarin emerged the PDP’s flag bearer at the end of its gubernatorial primary held at the Obafemi Awolowo stadium, Ibadan on Monday using only the statutory delegates, sequel to the irreconcilable differences among the three leading aspirants to step down for Folarin who was the anointed candidate of the presidency.
Former Governor of the state, Adebayo Alao-Akala and Seyi Makinde were the two aspirants that presidency offered succours in order for them to jettison their ambition and step down for Folarin.
The two leading governorship aspirants in the state, former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala and Seyi Makinde, were offered ministerial appointment and senatorial ticket respectively.
It was gathered that the national body of the party asked Alao-Akala to accept the Minister of State for Defence position dropped by Musiliu Obanikoro, another governorship aspirant in Lagos State, who resigned for the purpose of contesting the primary election in the state.
Similarly, Makinde was asked to go and take the Oyo South Senatorial slot of the party, a proposal said not to have gone down well not only with Akala and Makinde, but with the seven other aspirants, following which it was learnt the party settled for governorship primary, using only the statutory delegates.
At the end of the voting exercise, Folarin emerged winner with total votes of 167 out of 198 votes recorded. There were ten invalid votes while former deputy governor of the state, Hazeem Gbolarunmi had twelve votes. Soji Adejumo got four while Azeez Adedoja had three. Alao-Akala had two votes. Both Senator Ayo Adeseun and Prof Adedoja stepped down a few minutes to the commencement of the voting exercise.
The primary that was feared to have tendency for violence however went smoothly as it was conducted under heavy security. No fewer than 100 combat-ready policemen and officers from the Oyo State Command of the Nigeria Police took strategic positions at the stadium. They had stormed the venue of the primary election in about twenty vans.
Scores of men of the Civil Defence however complimented the efforts of the Nigeria police to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order in the state. However, uniformed men of the Department of State Security service were also not in short supply.
House of Representatives Majority leader, Hon Mulikat Adeola-Akande, Senator Ayo Adeseun and Senator Kamoru Adedibu were among the early callers at the venue of the primary. However, voting materials did not arrive until 1 pm when a young man in a Prado jeep with registration number Oyo 648 AKN was ushered into the stadium by the security operatives.
Shortly after the results of the primary were announced, supporters of Folarin went into jubilation amidst pump and ceremony. Folarin however, thanked the good people of the PDP for giving him the opportunity to represent the party at the forthcoming governorship election.
He promised that he would not disappoint them, saying all members of the party should come together in order to defeat the ruling party in the state, APC come 2015.