Jonathan: PDP will Emerge Stronger from National Convention


Our Correspondents

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has declared that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would become solid after the successful conclusion of the December 9 National Convention.

Addressing journalists after a visit to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, at the Government House Port Harcourt yesterday, Jonathan said an elected National Working Committee would set in motion the preparation for the 2019 general elections.

He said: “God willing, we will go through the national convention and the party will become solid.
“You know we have a cretaker committee. When you have a caretaker committee, you are not as strong as a fully elected chairman. The party passed through some challenges. Luckily for us, we have passed through that phase with the pronouncement of the Supreme Court “.

“We want to formally elect the officials of the party that will lead the party to the 2019 elections. I am very hopeful that on December 9 we will elect our leaders.”

National Chairmanship, South-west Agenda, Says Daniel
Erstwhile Ogun State governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, sunday declared that the race for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairmanship has gone beyond individual interest but has become a South-west agenda.

Daniel, a frontline aspirant for the PDP chairmanship contest, also claimed that his aspiration had the backing of former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, and former President Goodluck Jonathan, as well as other prominent leaders of the party.

The former governor spoke in Abeokuta at a meeting with leaders and delegates of Ogun PDP where he solicited their votes ahead of the party’s national convention scheduled for Saturday, December 9, in Abuja.

Notable leaders at the meeting included former deputy governor, Alhaja Salmot Badru, Senator Lekan Mustapha, Prince Gboyega Isiaka, Akinrogun Tunde Odanye, Mrs. Iyabo Apampa, Hon. Kayode Amusan, Chief Remi Bakare, Hon. Titi Gomez, Hon. Sikirulai Ogundele and Hon. Durotolu Bankole.

Daniel, who stated that 2015 electoral loss was a major blow to the PDP, said the party now requires a capable leader to rebrand and reorganise it for victory in the 2019 general elections.

He disclosed that he decided to vie for the PDP chairmanship with the objective of repositioning the party.
Daniel contended further that the South-west must be allowed to produce the next national chairman, in order to firm up the zone as a power base, while also expressing confidence in his ability to win.

While canvassing support for the South-west bid, Daniel said such consideration was needed for PDP to retain Ekiti State and win Osun State in next year’s gubernatorial elections in the two states.

Earlier in their separate remarks, Odanye, Isiaka, Mustapha, Apampa and Badru expressed confidence in the ability of the former governor, whom they described as great mobiliser and meticulous planner.
They assured him of unflinching support by delegates from the state, promising to also canvass more votes for him at the national convention.

Kashamu: Let South-west Produce Chairman to Save Party

Senator representing Ogun West senatorial district in the National Assembly, Buruji Kashamu, has called on all, stakeholders of the PDP; founding fathers, governors and delegates, to ensure the emergence of the chairman from the South-west to save the party.

According to him, that was the agreement reached ahead of the party’s botched Port Harcourt convention.
Kashamu stated this in a statement yesterday, chronicling the detailed perceived intrigues working against the interest of the region, allegedly being orchestrated by the national caretaker chairman of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.

He accused the national caretaker committee of attempt to manipulate the forthcoming convention to satisfy a micro interest that could derail the on-going reconciliation process at bringing the party back into reckoning stronger.
He said it was frustrating that rather than working for the convention to finally heal the wound of the party from the last election, some governors and the national chairman of the party were busy perfecting plans to suit their personal interest against the general interest of millions of party members nationwide.

According to Kashamu, “I urge our existing founding fathers, all PDP party men and women , convention delegates from the entire North, the South-east, South-west and South South including Governor Wike himself, to allow the voice of reason prevail and allow the emergence of the first-ever South-west national chairman of the PDP as previously agreed pre-Port Harcourt convention. Let’s jointly and severally prevent the hijacking of the PDP which, more likely than not, would lead to her dismemberment.”

He alleged that signals from the national caretaker committee towards the upcoming convention portends danger for the resurgence of the party.

We are Working for the Emergence of a National Chairman to Achieve Victory in 2019, Says Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that the leaders and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are working for the emergence of a national chairman who will drive the party to electoral victory in 2019.

He said all stakeholders are building to re-position the PDP, noting that no zone has been left out in the political equation.

Speaking when he granted audience to a national chairmanship aspirant of the PDP, Chief Raymond Dokpesi at the Government House Port Harcourt yesterday, Wike also berated those calling for the micro-zoning of the national chairmanship position . He said the position was zoned to the entire South.
He said: “No region has been left out. PDP is not in power. PDP is an opposition party. We are working for a chairman that will drive PDP and make PDP to win elections.

“The chairman is not going to share contracts to any zone for you to say a particular zone is left out. It is only when a government is formed that you talk about a zone being left out”
He said that he will join other stakeholders to ensure that PDP emerges victorious in future elections.
The governor charged PDP members to remain vigilant as APC is working round the clock to sow seeds of discord amongst party members.

He reiterated that he has no intention to vie for the position of vice president , saying that as a first term governor he is focused on the delivery of good governance to Rivers people.
He urged national chairmanship aspirants to use their campaigns to mobilise for the party.
Earlier, national chairmanship aspirant, Dokpesi called for the creation of level playing field for all aspirants.

He said that only the best candidate should emerge to lead the PDP after the national convention.
He solicited the support of the Rivers State Governor and Rivers delegates of the PDP to the national convention.

Secondus: Bode George is My Boss

Prince Uche Secundus sunday said Chief Bode George remains his boss even if both of them are vying for the national chairmanship of the party, Secondus said this at the Lagos state secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he declared his intention to contest the position of the national chairman of the party.
He eulogised George as a man of timber and calibre from Lagos State who is also vying for the position of chairman as himself, but said that he would support him (George) if he wins on Saturday.

According to him, “We have a vision to rebuild our party, to reposition It and to recover lost ground. We are selling our vision to the people of Nigeria especially the people of Lagos. We aren’t involved in mudslinging or bring down syndrome or blackmail.

“What counts at the end of the day is what you want to do that is new. We cannot be involved in attacking each other. Our daddy, Bode George is my boss and father to us all. I believe that the choice is left for the people to make. I also believe that he is competent and able to lead the party. If he is the people’s choice, I will give him my support. Every individual is allowed to make a choice. Nobody will be forced to vote for aspirants. Everybody should vote freely.

“Our intention is to empower the state chapters. We want to give the state chapters the opportunity to take their destiny in their hands by choosing their candidates. We will move to the local and ward chapters and return the party to the people.

Responding, the state Chairman of the party, Mr. Moshood Salvador made it clear that the state chapter of the party has George as it project and candidate. “We appreciate your recognition of George as your boss and leader and recognise that we also have him as our project. I am one of the advocates for the zoning of the position to the South-west.

South-west Youths Woo Northern Delegates
Coalition of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) youths from all the six states in the zone has appealed to the delegates from the 19 northern states to vote for a chairmanship aspirant from the zone during the December 9 national convention of the party.

The youths insisted that the party must vote for one of the aspirants from the south-west to lead the party to the promise land, saying any attempt to pick the occupant from either the South-east or the South-south would boomerang .

The youths said this in Ado Ekiti at the weekend after a two-day meeting of the caucus on the forthcoming PDP convention.

The communiqué was signed by Akeem Saliu Dennis, Ogedengbe Olusegun from Ekiti, Igbekele Odunayo and Folorunso Isaac for Lagos , Ismaila Yusuf and Ganeey Idowu for Oyo, Aghedo Benedict and Akinsetan Akinola for Ondo , Taofeek Kareem and Olaoluwa Funmilayo for Osun and Solana Ajisafe and Bolarin Ibitoye Peter for Ogun respectively.

Those eyeing the seat from the zone are: Professors Tunde Adeniran and Taoheed Adedoja, former Governor Gbenga Daniel, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Chief Bode George, among others.

The communiqué reiterated the need for the party to stop some PDP leaders in the South-west , who are allegedly working to sabotage the zone for the sake of their vice presidential ambition.

The coalition praised the northerners for standing by the truth reiterating their belief in the micro zoning of the chairmanship slot, saying this will help to cement the bond of unity across Nigeria and make the PDP a formidable opposition that can win elections in 2019.

I Consulted Anenih, Ikimi, Others, Says Dokpesi

One of the aspirants for the national chairmanship of the PDP Chief Raymond Dokpesi, at the weekend disclosed that his interest has been blessed by the former Board of Trustee (BoT) Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih.

He also said he consulted with Senator Isa Braima and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the party governorship candidate in the 2016 governorship election; former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi and other chieftains before contesting for the position of the national chairman of the party.

Dokpesi who stated this during his visit to the Edo State PDP secretariat in Benin City ahead of the party’s national’s convention, said his inability to reach out to everyone in the party was not to spite them.
“As part of the consultation, the state chairman is here, I came down, I saw our leading father in this party, in Nigeria and Edo State in particular, Chief Tony Anenih.

“We consulted with our governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, I consulted with the state chairman here also. I consulted with Chief Tomi Ikimi, I consulted with Alhaji Isa Braima, Chief Ozeto, all of the elders”, he said

On his part, the state party Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, while responding to insinuations from certain quarters that he has not accompanied the national chairmanship aspirant of the party to campaigns and solicit votes, said he deliberately did not join in his campaign tour as other aspirants were not equally accompanied by their own states party chairmen.