ABUJA – The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is seriously warming up to regain the South-West Zone from the opposition, Vanguard has gathered.
To this end, the party in a meeting with South-West PDP caucus in Abuja took concrete decisions on how to fully regain the Zone, starting with the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States scheduled for this year.
The meeting which has in attendance, the Vice President, the PDP National Chairman and the Chairman of Board of Trustees was prompted by a special dinner organised by the south-west leaders led by Chief Bode George for the newly appointed Chief of Staff to the President, Brigadier-General Jones Oladehinde Arogbofa.
The Special Dinner held at the Maitama residence of Chief Olabode George also had in attendance Minister designate, Chief Musiliu Obanikoro, the newly appointed Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Sola Omole and others.
The Vice President Arc. Namadi Sambo expressed delight on what he described as a good assemblage of Yoruba leaders at the meeting, stating that the prompt responses by the leaders had indicated that the PDP in South-West was more prepared to take over the region by 2015.
Sambo, clad in snow white agbada with a brown Yoruba cap, told the Yoruba leaders that President Goodluck Jonathan intended to be in their midst for the meeting, as a mark of respect he had for the South-West, but for pressing official duties which prevented him.
He said the appointment of General Arogbofa and others from the south-west into the federal cabinet was a fulfillment of the promises earlier made by President Jonathan, just as he indicated that the President would still do more for the zone.
The Vice President lamented the loss of the south-west by PDP to the opposition party, attributing it to absence of unity among the PDP leaders in the zone.
Sambo, who charged the gathering not to allow the All Progressive Congress (APC) a space in the future elections, likened the APC acronym to some drugs which, according to him, had been banned in Nigeria, suggesting to the PDP south-west leaders to continue to treat the APC as a party that had literally been banned.
Earlier, the PDP Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih noted that with the caliber of Yoruba political actors and the desires they were radiating for PDP at the meeting, he was rest assured that party would soon regain the south-west.
Like the Vice President, Anenih blamed the loss of south-west by PDP on internal wrangling among the leaders, while he charged the PDP south-west to close ranks for the benefit of the party in future elections.
Anenih said for PDP to regain the lost grounds in the south-west, every serving minister from the zone would henceforth take over the leadership role by ensuring proper coordination and funding of their zone.
The PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu who was accompanied to the meeting by Senator Hope Uzodinma, the Party’s National Secretary Professor, Wale Oladipo and Auditor, Alhaji Adeyanju Adewole, said his personal love for the Yoruba and their ways of life would always prompt him to ensure the return of the south-west zone to the centre by 2015.
Mu’azu canvassed for unity, peace and understanding among the PDP south-west leaders and members, just as he urged the leaders not to leave former President Olusegun Obasanjo behind in their consultations and considerations.
He advised them to be pragmatic as the era of where some body works for others to reap it would no longer be tolerated, insisting that loyalty would be considered under his leadership.
“I want this party to be all inclusive. This time around loyalty under my leadership of the party will be identified, there will not be something like ‘monkey dey work baboon dey chop’. There is enough for everybody; the umbrella is big enough to accommodate everybody.
“Today’s meeting has demonstrated that we can do it, please continue with it, I will be transparent in my leadership. You need to be pragmatic, you will reap it. I beg you, please cooperate with me,” Mu’azu implored.
In his welcome address, the Convener of the meeting, Chief Bode George expressed satisfaction to the gesture given to the zone by President Jonathan, in bringing more south-west representatives into the cabinet, in line with recommendations by some Yoruba leaders who had been meeting him.
He said the PDP south-west was now better prepared and inspired to wrest power from the APC, vowing that members would do all in their capacity to ensure that the Party takes over all the states of the south-west by 2015.
At the meeting were Chief Ebenizer Babatope, Prof Tunde Adeniran, Musiliu Obanikoro, Dr Adesina Akinwumi, Agric Minister, Chief Remi Adiukwu, Hon Mulikat Adeola Akande, Chief Martins Kuye, Ayo Fayoshe, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Barrister Olusola Oke, Kashamu Buruji, Elder Wole Oyelese, Professor Taoheed Adedoja, Chief Erelu Obada, Engr Segun Oni Dr Kayode Obambe, Francis Adenigba Fadahunsi, Eddy Olafeso and Chief Dosu Ladipo.
Others include, Chief Olasunkanmi Akinlabi, Engr Ezekiel Jide Adeniyi, Hon Ajibola Muraina, Hon Wole Oke, Apostle Dave Salako, Hon Kayode Amusan, Dr Bode Olajumoke, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, Dr Frederick Fasheun, Chief Yomi Akintola, Chief Hazeem Gbolarumi, Hon Elegbeleye, Segun Adeleke, Prince Olufemi Aduwo, Eddy Olafeso, Chief Ishola Filani, Alhaji Tajudeen and others.