Repositioning PDP, through the Instrumentality of Experience, Justice and Fairness….by Olufemi Abiodun
Since its establishment nearly two decades ago, Africa’s undoubtedly largest Political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had been headed by the following persons, as its National Chairman, both in full, and acting capacities. Late Chief Solomon Lar, Chief Barnabas Gemade, Chief Audu Ogbe, Prince Vincent Ogbolafor, Dr John Nwodo, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, Dr Haliru Bello (AG), Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, Prince Uche Secondus (Ag) and Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and now, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
While virtually all the other geo-political zones in the country, have been privileged to lead the party, in the position of its National Chairman, the Southwest Zone, and perhaps, one of the strongest political base, of the PDP is yet, and have never before now, been considered, to lead the party, in the position of its National Chairman.
While it is no doubt, that a lot of crisis, have bedeviled the party, in the recent past, particularly when it lost its governing power, to the then opposition and now, ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), coupled with the big loss suffered by the PDP, as a result of its unprecedented defeat, during the 2015 general elections, the party remains, central, to the political development of the country, as this, could be attested to, by the National interest and attention, dedicated to it, during the leadership tussle, to the point of the historic resolution, by the Supreme Court of Nigeria, in July this year.
Be that as it may, the party, is now faced, with the challenges of the future, as Nigerians awaits, its repositioning and readiness, to wrestle power, from the visibly non-performing ruling party, the APC. Meanwhile, there has been several attempts, by some elements within the party, to truncate the golden opportunity, that the December 9, 2017, National Convention of the party, offers the Yoruba people of the Southwest, to produce their First National Chairman, for the PDP.
Some of the persons vying for the chairmanship position, notable among whom are former Ogun State Governor, Mr. Gbenga Daniel, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Professor Tunde Adeniran, just to mention few, cannot be said, to have shown enough conviction, and commitment, to the party, especially in its trying period. Today, they could all be seen, jostling to take and squander by all means, the golden opportunity, available to the region, to produce the next National Chairman of the PDP, going by the already agreed zoning formula, of the party, as endorsed in the year 2016, when the party, ceded its next Presidential candidate slot, to the Northern part of the country.
It is important to remind ourselves, that in April 2016, the authentic and long-standing members, of the Yoruba leadership in the southwest PDP, met in Lagos, at a meeting conveyed by the man, that have severally been described as the MOST CONSISTENT Leader of the PDP, in Yoruba land, Chief Olabode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP.
At that Lagos meeting, all Yoruba PDP leaders present, in unison, condemned the claim by some elements within the party, who have been misrepresenting the party’s position, that the Yorubas do not want the chairmanship position of the PDP. That, from all intent and purposes, was an agenda, orchestrated by some external forces, to truncate the first opportunity, that the region has, to produce the National Chairman, of the PDP.
It should be noted, without any fear of equivocation, that every true Yoruba’s member and leader of the PDP from the Southwest, desire and demand the position of the PDP National Chairman at the next convention of the party, come December 9, 2017.
It is in the interest of Justice, Equity and fairness, that it has become inevitable, for the Yorubas of the Southwest zone, to be allowed to produce the party’s next National Chairman, at its convention.
Any attempt to go, by the contrary, irrespective of the basis, shall be unacceptable and will be taken, as a pervasive and concealed hatred for the Yorubas in the PDP.
It should also be known, that the ability of the zone, to present a capable candidate for this exalted position, becomes a key issue. For the southwest, to make a headway, every members and leaders, must be ready, to uphold the consensus arrangement, adopted by the party, at its August 2016 historic meeting in Akure, Ondo State, which was chaired and hosted by the then Executive Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, and his Ekiti State counterpart, Dr. Ayodele Fayose, where Chief Olabode George, was adopted, as the candidate of the zone, for the position of the PDP National.
It is not debatable, that of all individuals, from the zone, who have shown interest in vying for the PDP National Chairmanship position, only Chief Olabode George, possess the requisite experience, that is required at this crucial moment, to liberate the party, and pilot its affairs, in its quest to regain power, particularly, as the 2019 election year, approaches.
Chief Olabode George has the required political and leadership credentials, aided by long years of service to the PDP, and this makes him, a perfect choice, for the PDP National chairmanship slot already zoned to the south.
There is no doubt, that these other minor contenders, reserves the right to aspire, and that the race for the PDP Chairmanship position may be hard fought. Meanwhile, all eyes would be on the Yoruba people, who have never had the opportunity of producing the PDP National chairman till date. And in all these, the Atona Oodua, of the source, Chief Olabode George stands out as the best option, for the race.
Chief Olabode George had meritoriously served the PDP in various capacities, making several exploits for the party, particularly its inroad into the Southwest, in the year 2003.
The race for the PDP National Chairmanship, should not be reduced to an all comers’ affair, especially by those, who were not courageous enough, to openly associate with the party, during its trying period. These persons, with all sense of humility, should be advised, to shift sideways for a serious, popular and acceptable candidate like Chief Olabode George to emerge.
No one should be allowed, to mortgage this golden opportunity, offered to us, as the people of the Southwest, and a formidable political block within the party, on the altar of ego, and some form of inordinate ambitions.
The time to reposition the PDP is now, the time to rescue Nigeria’s democracy is near. We cannot take chances. Chief Olabode George, is the answer.
Power to the people.
Olufemi Abiodun, writes from Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.