*Ohuabunwa too as Ayu declares party has no preferred candidate
Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Publisher of Ovation International Magazine, Bashorun Dele Momodu, yesterday, notified the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of his intention to vie for the nation’s top job, saying his decision was aimed at national reconciliation and healing.
At the same time, a pharmacist and PDP member, Sam Ohuabunwa, has also hinted of his presidential run, even as the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyiorcha Ayu, has assured them of level playing field, saying the party had no preferred candidate.
Momodu, while speaking, commended the PDP national chairman for finding time to receive him at a short notice, which he said was evidence of Ayu’s demonstration of his intellectual discipline, simplicity and cosmopolitan worldview.
He was of the view that the party was fortunate to have such a serious academic and patriot as national chairman at this momentous period in the life of its troubled country, praying God to lead the party from glory to glory.
His words: “The time has come for full reconciliation and forgiveness and a closure of our ugly past. Nigeria urgently requires a reset and a total redirection. With this letter, Sir, I wish to humbly put the speculations to rest by coming to you with every sense of purpose and responsibility.
“In the last few days, there have been widespread speculations about my presidential bid for a second time. I have been greatly humbled by the excitement already generated, which reminds me of how it was 29 years ago, when your good friend and my own adopted father, Chief Moshood Abiola, threw his hat in the ring.
“It is very obvious that Nigerians are eager to restore that promise of hope and the accompanying peace and joy that we lost,” Momodu stated.
He, therefore said, “After due consultations with my family, friends and some stakeholders, I have arrived at the decision to contest the 2023 Presidential election on the platform of our great party, PDP. If selected as the party’s candidate, I hasten to add that this is my personal decision, although I have received advice, encouragement and support from diverse quarters since I started my consultations.
“I, therefore, offer myself to the PDP as the best aspirant to turn the fortunes of our esteemed party and our well endowed country around. In this regard, and with a deep sense of humility and profound respect, I urge the party not to consider picking its candidate based on the usual considerations, which had spectacularly failed our country in the past. The mood of the teeming youths, and indeed every patriotic Nigerian, who we need to come out en masse to vote for our party, aligns with this view.
“It is for this reason, that I invite our great party, PDP, to accept that it must search for a veritable flag bearer with the requisite leadership and visionary qualities that Nigerians now carnestly year for
“I’m convinced that the time has come to seriously challenge and dislodge those politicians,who have held our country to ransom by kidnapping, hijacking and destroying the future of our younger generation and generations yet unborn. I’m better prepared now than at the time of my first foray into the fray in 2011, and I am fully ready and certainly capable for the onerous tasks and responsibilities ahead.
“I wish to place on record, my firm promise and commitment not to be harassed, bullied or intimidated by anyone, who feels he or she can buy the whole of Nigeria with loads of cash fraudulently and illegally filched and taken from the Nigerian people.
“I’m proud to follow in the best traditions of my heroic mentor, Chief Moshood Abiola, who had wanted to banish poverty in our land, but was disastrously disallowed from achieving this laudable objective. Nigeria has paid heavy price and penalty in the last 29 years and suffered untold agony and indignity as result of that tragic misadventure,
“Nigeria deserves much better than where we are now, and my appeal to fellow Nigerians is that we should collectively rescue our dear country from the suffocating claws of slave masters, overlords and tyrants – vociferously and vehemently reject any suggestion that Nigeria should continue to tread this dangerous path. The die is cast, and we must regain and take back our country. I fully and unequivocally commit and dedicate myself to this cause,” he stated.
Ohuabunwa, while intimating Ayu of his intention to contest for the presidential ticket of the party, said he was coming on board with his wealth of experience as an industrialist and entrepreneurs per excellence
“So I am coming to lay the foundation for proper unity of our nation to create a level playing ground, where every child born in every part of this country will have the same opportunity like the other child to achieve his potential the way it happens the United States of America.
“Secondly, the issues in the Southeast are national issues. There’s nothing unique about the Southeast. What is happening in the northwest, what is happening in the south, North East, what is happening in the middle belt – they are all symptomatic of the same problem – foundational issues with Nigeria. And all we need to do is to look at them as national problems, when you look at them as ethnic animal problem, we miss it; they are national problems.
“We need to sit there and say, this was not the way our country was run by the founding fathers of this country. They organised this country in a manner that allowed for mutually satisfying relationship. A relationship that is normal, actually satisfying, including the marriage is starting to break down. So, don’t pretend about it,” he said.
In response, Ayu assured them that, “There will be a level playing field for all candidates. We don’t have any special candidate; we don’t have a preferred candidate. It is the party members, who will decide and if at the end of the day, the party members vote for you that you are the one they want, we will queue behind you.
“The party welcomes all candidates. Our party is a great party that is why people like you have not just joined the party but wants to contribute your services to the country. We know the work you have done in the media over the years, you are certainly a respected media personality in the country. You tried your hands in politics in the past and I hope that you will continue to support the party.
“You must work hard to build the party, because for you to run for office, you must have a strong platform, a united party, a strong platform, a focused party with which you can go into battle,” he said.