The trouble shooting efforts of Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) National Reconciliation Committee Chairman, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, has yielded fruits as leaders of the party in South West have declared support for the party.
In separate meetings with the Dickson-led committee in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, and in Lagos, former governors Rasheed Ladoja and Otunba Gbenga Daniel said it was too late to decamp from the PDP as the South West has accepted the outcome of the national convention.
Special Adviser to Dickson on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, in statement, said Dickson, during the meeting, pointed out that South West support is crucial to the success of the party in 2019.
Dickson, who commended Daniel, a chairmanship aspirant in the December 9, 2017 convention of the party, said PDP would need his support and wise counsel and those of other leaders in the South West to succeed in its objectives. He said the committee was in the South West to discuss issues that were thrown up by the last convention which produced the Prince Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee, and pleaded with Daniel to sustain continuous participation in the affairs of the party.
“The party is relying on your wise counsel. You and your colleagues woke up our party when you went round the entire country to campaign. Our party, the PDP, is a viable political platform. We are here to discuss the issues that have arisen as a result of the convention. The party holds you, Ogun State, and the South West zone in high esteem. Moving forward, we rely on your support and guidance to succeed,” Dickson said.
Meanwhile, the PDP said the South West geo-political zone is too sophisticated to fall for the gimmicks of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP, in a statement issued yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, accused the APC of trying to create disaffection among its members in the South West, on issues relating to its just-concluded national convention.
“The people of the South west have, however, seen through the antics of the APC propaganda machine and would not allow themselves be deceived.
“The South west leaders, who contested for the PDP national chairmanship position, are all men of quality and credibility; the fallout of the convention cannot, in any way, diminish their standing as core nationalists and statesmen whose interests, particularly, in the PDP and the nation, are not driven by personal or ethnic considerations.
“What essentially drives the individual and collective aspirations of the South west leaders in the PDP remains in tandem with the vision of other leaders of our party across the country, which is to rescue our nation from the directionless administration of the APC, with its attendant economic hardship on Nigerians,” the party said.
The PDP alleged that the APC’s attempt to sow seeds of discord among its members in the South west was borne out of fear of losing the region.
The opposition party, which claimed it has repositioned to sack the APC administration, said the ruling party does not seem to realise that people of South west, just like other Nigerians are victims of their misrule.
“The South west is too sophisticated to fall for the gimmicks of the APC. They cannot be distracted or deceived by baseless propaganda and cheap resort to ethnic politics. The South west will not fail to join other despairing Nigerians in voting out the APC in the 2019 general election.
“The truth is that the APC administration, having wrecked the country, is resorting to shadow boxing to stay afloat. Nigerians are, however, impatient to kick them out.
“The APC must note that their exit has become inevitable;. the more they fight the PDP, the more united we become, and the more Nigerians see through their deception and emptiness. Today, many are leaving their ranks in droves. Very soon, their party will be empty and their collapse will be loud,” the opposition party said.
Regardless, Dickson said the South west will continue to occupy a pride of place in the party.
Speaking with newsmen after a closed-door meeting with former governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja, at his Ondo Street residence in Bodija, Dickson dismissed insinuations that the zone had been relegated with the loss of the national chairmanship position to the South South.
Dickson led other members of the committee that included Senator Abdullah Ningi, John Odey, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide and Board of Trustees (BoT) chairman of the party, Aminu Wali.
Also, in the entourage, were National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan and his deputy, Diran Odeyemi as well as South west zonal Chairman, Dr. Eddy Olafeso.
According to him, he visited Ladoja with a view to addressing some issues that came to the fore in the aftermath of the party’s national convention, saying: “Our country is at a crossroads, in difficult and trying times. These are times that we need the guidance and wise counsel of leaders like Ladoja across the country.
“We had a very fruitful and robust discussion. It is reassuring that Ladoja, the leader of men we have always known, is available to continue to play that leadership role for our party and for the service of our country. He is not only the leader in Oyo State; he is a key pillar of PDP in South-West and Nigeria as a whole.”
Ladoja, in his remarks, lauded the committee and said: “In Nigeria today, APC is not an option. If you are talking of getting power to lift Nigerians out of poverty and serve them, it is those of us in PDP who are going to do that.
On her part, Akinjide said: “The committee met with the new National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and the new National Working Committee. He spoke passionately about how he has come in as a servant-leader, how the old order will change under his leadership, no imposition of candidates, and no impunity.
“It is important that we give this message because I know this is what bothers people in Oyo and other states.”