The PDP candidate for the post of House of Representatives for Abeokuta South constituency from the Jubril Martins Kuye-led faction of the People's Democratic Party in Ogun State, Peter Olusegun Alawode, yesterday withdrew his candidacy in favour of the speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole.
"Thanks be to God Almighty, we have been able to resolve issues and that is based on the order of my leaders and elders, the likes of Buruji Kashamu. There is no way I could go against the wishes of the party and not only the party but the elders and the leaders," Mr Alawode said.
Denying speculations that he withdrew following financial inducement from the camp of the speaker, the former candidate added that the party leaders are in control.
"If I should be asked to step down for the speaker to go back to that seat, there is no big deal," he said. "I want to say yes, wilingly and without much pressure. I was able to say okay, I agree with you. No any ill-feeling. The decision of me serving in Olurin's cabinet is solely the affairs of the party and leaders."
On the crisis rocking the party, Mr. Alawode said that the party leaders have been making efforts to resolve the issues.
"There are lots of consultations here and there in order to resolve issues because time is not on our side; we do realise that. My leaders and elders are trying their best in resolving these grievances," he said.
Mr. Bankole participated in the primaries of the party organized by the faction of the party loyal to the state governor, Gbenga Daniel. Although he won the ticket, his name could not be forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission because the commission recognised candidates supplied by the Martins-Kuye faction of the party. These candidates were last week presented with the party's flag at the presidential rally held in Ibadan, Oyo State. Mr. Bankole received the flag on behalf of House of Representatives candidates, although his name was not on the INEC-recognised list. Mr. Alawode's withdrawal of his candidacy means that Mr. Bankole can now be presented as the candidate of the party.