By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
A founding father of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, at the weekend in Abuja endorsed the candidature of Prof. Tunde Adeniran, one of the partyâ€™s national chairmanship aspirants.
Ciroma, also a former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), described Adeniran as a trustworthy person whose pedigree and track-record of discipline, integrity and loyalty to the party and the country marked him out as the most suitable for the top PDP position.
The elder statesman spoke during the aspirant and his campaign teamâ€™s visit to his (Ciromaâ€™s) residence and extolled Adeniranâ€™s leadership qualities, saying he had followed with keen interest the aspirantâ€™s career since his days as a lecturer at the University of Ibadan and Secretary of the Mass Mobilization for Self-Reliance, Social Justice and Economic Recovery (MAMSER).
A statement by the Director of Media and Publicity of the Tunde Adeniran Campaign Organisation (TACO), Mr. Taiwo Akeju, quoted Ciroma as saying: â€œI am happy to receive you all in my house this afternoon. It is a privilege also for me to see all these great Nigerians like Prof. Jerry Gana; former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ibrahim Mantu; former Ministers, Mrs. Fidelia Njeze, Hajia Zainab Maina and Mr. Tom Aguiyi-Ironsi; the Director-General of the campaign, Alhaji Shehu Musa Gabam; and an array of former senators, members of the House of Representatives and state houses of assembly, commissioners and advisers from the various geo-political zones coming together to work for a common goal of rescuing our great party after the 2015 electoral defeat.
â€œWith what I see today, it is very clear that the dream of the founding fathers of the PDP is very much alive and that means there is hope for our party and Nigeria as a whole.â€
He charged the aspirant to promote the unity and oneness of Nigeria, telling him and his team to remember that the dream of Nigeriaâ€™s founding fathers, which was built on the principle of unity in diversity, were the core values and principles on which the PDP was formed.
Ciroma urged all Nigerians to continue to promote the unity and progress of the country in every position they might find themselves.
â€œIt is because we see ourselves as one nation that gave me the opportunity to obtain my degree at the University of Ibadan. Today I do not see myself as only a Hausa man. I see myself as a Yoruba man, based on the relationships that I built while in the university,â€ he said.
In his speech, Gana extolled Adeniranâ€™s leadership: â€œWhen the time to contest for the partyâ€™s chairmanship came, many of the leaders of the party, including all of us here carried out a detailed study of the kind of leadership the PDP needs at this material time.
â€œWe went round the country to ask questions from the people so that we can avoid the mistake of the past. The result of the exercise shows that the PDP needs a transparent, disciplined, dedicated, experienced and loyal leader.â€
He added: â€œAlso integrity was considered. It was at this point that we all came to the conclusion that for the party to regain her place in Nigeriaâ€™s political space, Prof. Adeniran is the man that possesses all the qualities that were listed.
â€œTherefore, we are here today to present the most favoured, qualified and trusted candidate for the job of the chairman of our great party to you for your blessing.â€
Akeju said earlier in the week, the campaign train visited the PDP caucus in the National Assembly where the partyâ€™s lawmakers pledged their support for Adeniran because of his dedication, loyalty and contributions to the party since its inception in 1998.
He said they also said he had no baggage that the opposition could use to blackmail him if he becomes the national chairman.
The campaign train, according to Akeju, would be in the North-east this week in continuation of its zonal tour towards the December 9 national convention.