- Â Agbaje: Itâ€™s allowed where possible
James Emejo in Abuja
There are indications that the (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives is currently considering a possibility of adopting a consensus candidate as the chairman of the party.
Secretary to the caucus, Hon. Tajudeen Yusuf, said the idea a consensus candidate â€œis not a bad idea.â€
Speaking after two rounds of meetings with the PDP chairmanship aspirants, he told journalists: â€œThereâ€™s a school of thought that believes that if we can reach a consensus without an election, thatâ€™s a good thing for PDP. Then there are those that are thinking and working along the line. Itâ€™s fine.
â€œWhy, because itâ€™s assumed that is we do not manage it well, we might find a spillover of the congress . So we have a conviction that If a consensus is reached, so be it. Weâ€™ll go by the consensus. Weâ€™ll even be part of building it if need be.
â€œHowever, weâ€™re not promoting it. Weâ€™re aware and were supporting it, but weâ€™re not initiating it.â€
The caucus had last Wednesday met with former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran; Daar Communications founder, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, immediate past Deputy National Chairman, Uche Secondus, and former Deputy National Chairman, Bode George.
On Tuesday, it further interacted with former PDP Lagos State governorship candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, and former Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja.
However, former Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, former Oyo State Governor, Rasheed Ladoja, were expected to meet with the lawmakers on Tuesday but didnâ€™t show up.
Yusuf, who commented on the expected attributes for the chairmanship of the party said: â€œThe PDP have gone through a lot. We need bridge builder because of the cleavages in the party. We need a binding force, someone with a large heart who will say, I mean all things to all men, know when to abase and when to abound. Thatâ€™s what weâ€™re looking for.â€
He said: â€œThatâ€™s what Nigerians need at this particular time. A chairman that will be the face of the alternate, a chairman that will market the party to Nigerians and say hey, weâ€™ve gone through this rough journey for he past two and a half years, thereâ€™s hope. Thatâ€™s who were looking for.
â€œIt must not be a new person, it could be a new person. But he must have that definite character of being able to galvanise the party, reposition the party in such a way that Nigerians will believe in the party.â€
However, speaking shortly after meeting with the lawmakers, Agbaje said the idea of consensus candidate should be given a chance where possible.
He said: â€œWhere possible, I mean when itâ€™s not, democracy says you go out, where possible consensus is allowed.
â€œWell, youâ€™ll see that some of us have been relatively quite publicly and for me, thatâ€™s because the chairmanship of the party is normally influenced by the leadership of the party. Itâ€™s not a general or public campaign and the essence is that the leadership must sit down to look at the issues dispassionately because itâ€™s about interest, then, like I say, even if you have interest to be a president or a governor, senator or in the House of Representatives, the idea is that you want to be, you donâ€™t just want to be a candidate.
â€œSo itâ€™s your interest to make sure the party can deliver you; if you try to deliver just for yourself without the party, you get nowhere. And so itâ€™s to explain the situation to those that matter to look well and influence correctly so that the party gets the best that it deserves.â€
He expressed confidence that the PDP could still unseat the current administration by capitalising on its inability to deliver on public goods.
Agbaje said: â€œNobody is underestimating the task of unseating an incumbent government but we know itâ€™s possible because we are geared up and if we get our acts together then weâ€™ll unseat them .
â€In any case, weâ€™ve not seen them with the capacity to deliver on public goods and services. The capacity is obviously not there.â€
He said:â€I think what the PDP needs today is to rebuild and reunite the party. To say bye-bye to the bad old habits; to excite the populace especially the youths and the women, to express that weâ€™ve learnt our lessons as a party. And that we are ready to take power once again, I think this is the way I want to summarise it.â€