A former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, says his gentle mien will not diminish his chances of becoming the next national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Adeniran told the newsmen in a telephone interview on Wednesday that being a gentleman, he remained the best candidate in the race for the national chairmanship seat of the party.
The party’s national elective convention, which will produce the national chairman and other executive officers, is scheduled for Dec. 9 in Abuja.
Apart from Adeniran, former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George; former Minister of Sport, Prof Taoheed Adedoja, and former PDP governorship candidate in Lagos, Mr Jimi Agbaje, are also in the chairmanship race.
Former governors of Ogun and Oyo states, Chief Gbenga Daniel and Chief Rasheed Ladoja respectively; media mogul, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, and one-time acting chairman, Chief Uche Secondus, are also eying the party’s chairmanship.
Adeniran said the perception that he is a gentleman is a good one, as the PDP needs such a person with ideas and vision to drive its progress.
“Yes, I am a gentleman. The belief in some quarters that the party does not need a gentleman as leader is an insult not only to the party, but every member.
“Leadership is not by thuggery, is not by violence, but by ideas, passion, vision and commitment.
“We don’t need a violent person in PDP as chairman. We need a man with ideas to drive the party‘s vision. I am that man. I am that gentleman,’’ he said.
The former minister said with God on his side and the support he was enjoying across the party, he was sure to clinch the post.
He insisted that he had all it required to lead and reposition the party, being a founding member with the requisite experience.
“PDP needs a leader with the right vision, passion for good leadership qualities and a leader with right experience.
“I am passionate about repositioning the party and I am brimming with ideas and vision to return the party to winning ways,’’ he said.
Adeniran said his academic and political background as a political science professor and former minister had enriched his suitability for the seat.
He acknowledged that other aspirants had great attributes, but said his kind of vision to salvage the PDP at a critical moment was unmatched.
The National Caretaker chairman of the party, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi had said at the end of the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Tuesday that the chairmanship seat was zoned to the entire South, and not micro-zoned to the South-West.
He said the party’s non-elective convention zoned the presidency to the North and the chairmanship to the South.