• sues for peace
Leaders and stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-west yesterday prayed for the quick recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari “in order to continue his anti-corruption crusade.”.
Rising from an expanded South-west PDP Committee meeting in Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State, the party also acknowledged and affirmed the leadership of the party under Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff and his efforts to reposition it.
These were the highlights of nine-point communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, which was read by the National Vice-Chairman/Zonal Chairman, South-west of the party, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe.
The party said it was the alternative to the current All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government and urged all hands to be on deck to move the party forward and put it in good stead for the task ahead, including the forthcoming elections in Ekiti and Osun States.
In his remark, Sheriff said he would continue to work for the progress of the party and return it to the grassroots.
Sheriff, who stated that he would not be provoked by the statement of the party’s Chairman of the PDP Strategy Review Committee, Prof. Jerry Gana, challenged him (Gana) to go and contest election in his locality and win before he could talk to him about party administration and management.
In his keynote address at the meeting, the former Deputy Senate President, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu, who is also the Deputy Chairman of PDP Reconciliation Committee, attributed the crisis rocking the party to lack of internal democracy, imposition of candidates and impunity.
Mantu said the party bungled the goodwill it enjoyed for 16 years by allowing internal wrangling to fester and therefore urged leaders of the party to shelve personal interests and work towards mending the cracks in the party.
He, however, disclosed that the party has learnt its lessons mentioning that machinery has been put in place to address the problems bedeviling the party with a view to restore its lost glory.
“The national leadership is doing its very best to rebrand and reposition our party positively before the Nigerian public in readiness for 2019. In spite of the crack in the family, the leadership is moving steadily in the right direction -encouraging mass participation of members in the activities of the party, thereby giving them sense of belonging,” Mantu said.
He, therefore, reiterated that leaders and members of the party must come together to settle the differences in the party, if PDP is serious of taking mantle of leadership from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019.
“All hands must be on deck to ensure total victory in the entire South-west and Nigeria in 2019. The tongue and the teeth live inside the mouth and they do sometime clash but none vacates the mouth for the other. We must therefore not allow seeming differences affect our victory at the polls.
“Our detractors had expected the crack in the family to be the beginning of our end. Tell them that the lion was just sleeping in order to conserve more energy and make a minced meat of them in 2019. No matter how much weight an elephant loses, it can never be compared to a cow,” he added.
The meeting was attended by the Sheriff’s deputy, Dr. Cairo Ojuigbo; National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo; Senator Sam Anyanwu (Imo West), Senator Buruji Kashamu (Ogun East) and former FCT Minister, Mohammed Abba Gana.
Others included Senator Hosea Ehinlanwo, Hon. Adesegun Adekoya, Hon. Segun Odebunmi; Hon. Victor Akande, Hon. Bowale Solaja, former Presidential adviser, Ahmed Gulak and the leadership of the party from Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo and Ogun States.