No fewer than four governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State on Sunday withdrew from the governorship race.
The four governorship aspirants announced their withdrawal at the party’s primaries held at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Ibadan.
The four aspirants are: Dr Olusola Ayandele, Mr Joseph Tegbe, Dr Owolabi Babalola and Mr Niyi Akintola (SAN).
The national secretariat of the party had recently cleared seven out of the eight governorship aspirants from the state to participate in the primaries.
Among the other aspirants cleared for the primaries are Mr Adebayo Adelabu, Dr Olusola Ayandele, Mr Joseph Tegbe, Dr Owolabi Babalola, former Gov. Adebayo Alao-Akala, Dr Azeez Adeduntan and Chief Niyi Akintola.
The duo of Alao-Akala and Adeduntan had through different statements announced their decision to stay away from the primaries.
In their remarks, Ayandele and Babalola, said they are stepping down for Adelabu to emerge the governorship candidate of the party
The duo stated that the unity of the party was paramount in their minds, urging their supporters to support Adelabu to emerge from the primaries.
Tegbe, in his remarks, said that he was withdrawing from the race in the interest of the party, pledging that his supporters would support whoever emerged winner in the race.
Akintola also announced his withdrawal from the race during the voting exercise.
Akintola said he was one of the most cheated politicians in the state, saying he had served the party diligently without commensurate reward.
The legal luminary said he was withdrawing from the race after consultation with the Iyalode of Ibadan, Alhaja Aminat Abiodun, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
He also announced his exit from partisan politics, saying the decision he made was against the wish of his family and supporters.
Mr Demola Seriki, the Chairman of the Congress, said the voting process would continue as organised, saying Alao-Akala had not formally withdrawn from the race.
He assured the delegates and the party of orderly and transparent primaries, adding that a generally accepted candidate would emerge from the process.
Among those present at the primaries were Gov. Abiola Ajimobi and wife, Florence, Chief Moses Adeyemo, the deputy governor, Joshua Ojo, the Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly and hosts of others.
Voting was still ongoing as at the time of filling the report.(NAN)