Former Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Ambassador Taofik Arapaja has been declared as the new Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, South West Zone having polled the highest lawful votes in the PDP Southwest Congress, held in Osogbo, the Osun State Capital.
Announcing the result, Chairman of Electoral Committee and Deputy Governor of Benue State, Mr Benson Abounu declared that Ambassador Taofik Arapaja scored 343 to defeat his close rival, Mr Eddy Olafeso from Ondo state who polled 330.
The candidate for the Youth leader position was retuned unopposed having had his close rival disqualified earlier over his age above the limit provided by the PDP constitution.
A total of 683 votes were cast out of which 10 votes were voided due to wrong voting.
The exercise which commenced at about 11 oclock in the morning with accreditation of delegates from the six south west states of Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo was generally peaceful.
Earlier, Chairman of the Congress and the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Mr Benson Abuonu described the election as a family affair, promising to be as transparent as possible.
Mr Abuonu pleaded with stakeholders to accept the out come of the election in the interest of a united PDP.
Similarly, the leaders of the two PDP factions in the Southwest, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state and former Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state embraced each other and promised to work with winners of the election.
In his comment, Governor Makinde stated that the exercise was a family affair,adding that whatever happened had ramification on the PDP at the National level.
Also, Former Ekiti Governor, Fayose who identified Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state as the leader of the party in the South West cautioned their followers and supporters against fanning ember of discord among them.