House PDP Caucus Mulls Consensus Candidate for Party Chairmanship

  •  Agbaje: It’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 “is not a bad idea.”

Speaking after two rounds of meetings with the PDP chairmanship aspirants, he told journalists: “There’s a school of thought that believes that if we can reach a consensus without an election, that’s a good thing for PDP. Then there are those that are thinking and working along the line. It’s fine.

“Why, because it’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. We’ll go by the consensus. We’ll even be part of building it if need be.

“However, we’re not promoting it. We’re aware and were supporting it, but we’re not initiating it.”
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 didn’t show up.

Yusuf, who commented on the expected attributes for the chairmanship of the party said: “The 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. That’s what we’re looking for.”

He said: “That’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, we’ve gone through this rough journey for he past two and a half years, there’s hope. That’s who were looking for.

“It 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.”
However, speaking shortly after meeting with the lawmakers, Agbaje said the idea of consensus candidate should be given a chance where possible.

He said: “Where possible, I mean when it’s not, democracy says you go out, where possible consensus is allowed.
“Well, you’ll see that some of us have been relatively quite publicly and for me, that’s because the chairmanship of the party is normally influenced by the leadership of the party. It’s not a general or public campaign and the essence is that the leadership must sit down to look at the issues dispassionately because it’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 don’t just want to be a candidate.

“So it’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 it’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.”

He expressed confidence that the PDP could still unseat the current administration by capitalising on its inability to deliver on public goods.

Agbaje said: “Nobody is underestimating the task of unseating an incumbent government but we know it’s possible because we are geared up and if we get our acts together then we’ll unseat them .
”In any case, we’ve not seen them with the capacity to deliver on public goods and services. The capacity is obviously not there.”

He said:”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 we’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.”