PDP Chairmanship: Why I’m In The Race - Bode George
A case of imprisonment, a Supreme Court ruling cancelling his conviction, allegations of fraud, theft, high-handedness and old age seem insufficient to deter Bode George.
The former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP has his eyes on 2019 and wants the party to return to Aso Rock.
George spoke on Friday in Lagos during his official declaration for the position.
The event, which was held at the City Hall, attracted many PDP bigwigs who came to show their support and solidarity for George’s aspiration.
While declaring his interest to lead the party, George stated that one of his focus if voted as National Chairman of PDP will be to bring back into the fold many party men and women who jumped ship in 2015.
He said God had used the Supreme Court to save PDP from disintegration and called on members of the party not to bungle this golden opportunity.
He added that the party needs a leader with the right vision, right ideas, experience and energy to move to it greater heights.
“I know the tradition, the culture, the guiding ethos and the normative patterns that our leaders have built and nurtured for so many years.
“If elected, I am willing and ready to work with everyone regardless of personal differences to mend the broken places, to heal the ancient wounds, to reconcile the feuding factions and ultimately ensure that we strengthen our collective brotherhood and speak with one voice to regain victory in 2019.
“I will never compromise our foundational principles of justice, fairness and equity as enshrined in the constitution of our party. We will equally accord all our governors, and legislators at both state and national levels the necessary pride of place and honour in this new dawn. We will protect their interests and help to enhance their effectiveness.
“If I am given the privilege to serve, I will never play the role of an overlord. I will serve with dignity and diligence. I will respect the mighty and the low without discrimination. Together, we will remove impunity. Together, we will restore discipline and fair play. We will always insist on internal democracy.”
He also commended stakeholders of PDP on their resolve to zone the chairmanship position to the south-west zone, describing the zoning arrangement as a veritable tool for stabilising the PDP.
Various party chieftains, who spoke at the event lauded the leadership qualities of George and urged other party members to stand by him.
Earlier, the chairman of Olabode George Campaign Organisation, Ebenezer Babatope in his opening remarks called on the South-west to rally behind Geroge whom he said is the most experienced among the contestants.
He described George as a well-tested hand in PDP affairs noting that he had once led the PDP to victory in the South-West and at the national level and would still do it again.
Former Minister of Information and Communication, Dapo Sarumi said in good and bad times, George has proven to be a loyal party man since the formation of the PDP in 1998.
“I don’t know of anybody in the South-West who has done that,” he said.
Also speaking, a former Works and Housing Minister, Adeseye Ogunlewe, said the chairman of PDP was not for politician who is still learning the rope but for someone with experience.
He said among those who have shown interest in leading the party, George is the most experienced.
PDP stalwarts at the event included former Deputy governor of Lagos, Kofoworola Akerenle Buknor, for Minister of Cooperation and Integration in Africa, Dr. Bimbola Ogunkelu, former Deputy governor of Osun State and former Minister of State for Defence, Olusola Obada, former PDP Chairman in Ogun State, Joju Fadairo and the party’s former National Vice Chairman, Tajudeen Oladipupo.
Others are the party’s current National Vice Chairman, Eddy Olafeso, former Deputy-Governor of Oyo State, Hazeem Gbolarumi;, former chairman of the party in Lagos, Tunji Shelle, former Interim National Chairman, PDP, Ishola Filani, former Minister of Special Duties, Wole Oyelese and all Exco members of PDP in Lagos state among others.
The party has fixed December 9 for its convention where new national officers will be elected. The convention would hold in Abuja.
Other contenders for the position include former Minister of Education, Tunde Adeniran, former Ogun State governor; Gbenga Daniel, former Minister of Sports, Taoheed Adedoja and former Oyo State governor, Rasheed Ladoja.
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