Ekiti State governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential hopeful, Mr. Ayodele Fayose has urged the party in the Southwest to forge a common front and present a single candidate for the national chairmanship position.
He said: “going to the national convention in disunity will not serve the collective interest of the party in the Southwest zone.”
Special Assistant to the governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, quoted Governor Fayose as making this call on Monday, in Lagos when he held a closed-door meeting with PDP national chairmanship aspirants.
The meeting was attended by former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George; former Oyo State Governor, Senator Rasheed Ladoja, former Minister of Communications, Chief Dapo Sarumi and former PDP National Chairman (South-West), Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo
Former Ogun State governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, was unavoidably absent as he sent his apology.
The meeting, which commenced around 9pm immediately after the arrival of Chief George, who was accompanied by Chief Sarumi, among others, lasted for over one hour.
Governor Fayose, who addressed newsmen after the meeting, said he was desirous of having the PDP in the Southwest go to the convention as united and indivisible entity as it could not afford to go into the
exercise as a divided entity.
The governor said; “It will be difficult for me to be going around soliciting support for all the chairmanship aspirants. It is when we are able to present one common aspirant that I can be able to stand behind such aspirant and campaign round the country.
“Going to the convention without cohesion would not speak well of the Southwest zone and the purpose of today’s meeting is to start a process of achieving a common front.”
He, however, said those at the meeting agreed that it should be an ongoing exercise and an all inclusive one where all stakeholders would be invited.
Also speaking, Alhaji Oladipo described Governor Fayose as the rallying point for the party in Southwest being the only PDP governor and the chairman, PDP Governors’ Forum in the country.
“He is a rallying point to make our position in the Southwest PDP known in the coming convention.
“We endorse the calling of the meeting with all stakeholders in attendance before the convention. It is our privilege to have him as our governor and other stakeholders would be joining us before the convention,” Alhaji Oladipo said.
On his part, Chief Ladoja, who said he had now become a full-fledged PDP member, having obtained his party membership card, disclosed that he would publicly declare his chairmanship ambition by the end of the week.
Chief George, in his remark, expressed support for the meeting, saying: “I also endorse the meeting and it shows that all hope is lost.”
He said it should be clear that the Southwest PDP was not a rudderless ship, expressing that at the end of the day, the intervention by Governor Fayose would be a welcome development that would gladden the heart of members.