By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara state has hailed the emergence of Barr. Razak Atunwa as its governorship candidate during its just concluded gubernatorial primary.
The party also clarified that there was no any form of imposition of a particular aspirant during the primary, insisting that it was the will of the delegates that prevailed.
The PDP, however, praised the party’s electoral panel chaired by Hon. Charles Menagbo, aspirants, delegates and security agencies over the peaceful conduct of its just concluded governorship primary election.
The party in a statement by its publicity secretary, Tunde Ashaolu expressed delight that despite the hitches witnessed on Sunday, the primary was successfully concluded on Monday.
It said: “We are delighted that yesterday’s exercise was conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner in the presence of observers, journalists and representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“We congratulate Hon. Razaq Atunwa for his emergence as our party’s governorship candidate for the 2019 general elections, and also commended his opponent in the race, His Excellency, Senator Sha’aba Lafiagi for exhibiting a spirit of sportsmanship by accepting the result of the primary election and conceding defeat.
“The party also praises other aspirants for withdrawing from the race in the interest of the party. Indeed, everybody is a winner as far as the exercise is concerned, and we are all members of one big family.
“We also wish to clarify that there was no imposition of candidate in the just concluded primary election. Neither the Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki nor the State Working Committee of the party anointed any aspirant ahead of the exercise.
“As a party, we ensured a level-playing field for all our governorship aspirants. The aspirants who withdrew from the race did so in the interest of the party and the people of Kwara State and were not coerced or intimidated to do so as being rumoured in some quarters.
“However, we are not unmindful that there may be some aggrieved people within the party. In the coming days, the party will reach out to such people and ensure that we all work together for the success of the PDP in the 2019 general elections.
“We also call on members and supporters of our party across the State to remain upbeat and prepare to work for the victory of the party in the State and at the national level in next year’s elections.”