BySegun James in Lagos
As the race for the election of the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national convention scheduled forÂ December 8Â continues to gather momentum, the Yoruba Patriots Movement and the Gbenga Daniel Campaign Organisation have dismissed the purported endorsement of some candidates for the chairmanship post Â by some members of the partyâ€™s Board of Trustees (BoT) as a ruse.
They also said no such action ever took place.
The Gbenga Daniel Campaign Organisation in a statement signed by its media consultant, Steve Oliyide, said the document allegedly signed by Chief Shuaib Oyedokun on behalf of the South-west caucus of the BoT of the party endorsing three candidates while leaving out Gbenga Daniel, Chief Rasheed Ladoja, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja and Mr. Jimi Agbaje among others should be disregardedÂ saying it â€œcan best be described as the personal opinion of the writer and itâ€™s clearly not well thought out, if at all such a document is authenticated.â€
Oliyide said the PDP was still â€œsmarting from a disastrous electoral outing in the last two and a half years. Our party is just recovering from acts of impunity and unilateral actions like this; and never again do we pray for such as we move on to repackage the party.â€
He said Daniel was not fazed by the purported endorsement, saying that Daniel is â€œcurrently on a nationwide tour of all the 36 states chapters of our party consulting with leaders and potential delegates, preaching the gospel of internal democracy and retuning the party to the people at the grassroots.â€Â
He insisted that Daniel who is currently in Kano having earlier visited Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Jigawa â€œremains firmly in the race and he is probably the aspirant to beat in this race.â€Â
The Yoruba Patriots Movement (YPM) has also said that the purported endorsement of some candidates for the PDP national chairman by the South-west PDP BoT members was â€œundemocratic and very unfortunate.â€
The YPM in a statement signed by its national coordinator, Mr. Oladosu Oladipo, said the process lacked transparency as it should have begun with screening.
â€œA transparent procedure capable of producing good result for the seriously marginalised South-west region Â should have started from state screening.Â The decision Â to eliminate some PDP chairmanship aspirants like Daniel, Governor Ladoja, Agbaje etc is not only undemocratic but very unfortunate.
â€œIn Oyo State where Senator Ladoja and Prof Taoheed Adedoja are both aspirants for the PDP chairman,Â leaders in Oyo State like Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, Senators Ayo Adeseun, Moses Agboola, Chief Sarafa Alli, Asimiyu Alarape, Alhaji Alli Oyedeji Dodo, Alhaja Bose Adedibu, Alhaji Gbolarumi, Senator Robert Koleoso, Hon. Muraina from Ibarapa, former leader of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Adeola Akande; Chief Tunde Mustapha from Iseyin to mention just a few to decide their preference out of the two aspirants from Oyo Stateâ€ were not consulted in the caucus decision.
He stressed that the same due process ought to be applied for Lagos State where Agbaje and George are aspirants.
â€œWith the greatest respect to my respected BoT members from South-west, anything contrary to transparent, honest and all inclusive process will surely lead to exodus from the PDP.â€
While lamenting the commitment of those purportedly endorsed by the BoT to the â€œYoruba Project on Restructuring,â€ the YPM wondered: â€œWho are the said BoT members that took that decision? Where and when was the decision taken?â€
It stated that these BoT members wanting to unilaterally decide the political direction and future of the South-west had failed to identify with yearnings and aspirations of the Yoruba leaders in their struggle to making Yoruba nation an equal partner in the Commonwealth of Nigeria.
â€œThe decision is unwholesome, tainted, divisive, ill-motiveÂ and very, very unpopular. Therefore, itâ€™s null and void and of no effect at all.Â The purported PDP BoT members should tender unreserved apology to the South-west people for their leadership flaw,â€ the group added.