The Olabode Ibiyinka George Campaign Organisation, the body saddled with the responsibility of mobilising support for the ambition of former Deputy National Chairman (South) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George of becoming the national chairman of the party, has stated that the top politician threw his hat into the ring “because of his pan-Nigerian vision and the love for the collective interest of Nigerians.”
The organisation stated this on Friday during its visit to the management of the African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, publishers of the Tribune titles. On the entourage were the organisation’s chairman and former Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope; secretary, Mr Usman Shodipe and Chief Dare Adeleke
“Chief Olabode George is experienced, having been the National Vice Chairman (South-West) of the party and later Deputy National Chairman (South).
Under his leadership, the PDP achieved electoral success in the South-West geopolitical zone and across the country,” Babatope said, noting that the team visited Tribune because “no matter what anyone says, Tribune has established itself as a successful and courageous institution and Chief George remains a staunch supporter of Papa Obafemi Awolowo and a lover of Tribune. He believes in Tribune and the Awolowo family.
“We know that you are not politicians; we are and we need your support,” Babatope added.
Meanwhile, Shodipe maintained that Nigeria could only have an effective democracy if there was a counter-balancing effect, which he said is non-existent in Nigeria today, calling on the media to develop democracy by rising above the fray to allow for plurality of voices and give vibes to the opposition’s voice.
Sodipe added: ‘‘Chief Olabode George is in this race not because of personal interest but for the collective interest of Nigerians. Nigeria is in trouble right now, so anyone who will become PDP national chairman must be someone who can act effectively as an alternative president.’’
Responding, the Editor, Nigerian Tribune, Mr Debo Abdulai, who spoke on behalf of the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief , Mr Edward Dickson, welcomed the team on behalf of the management, lauding Chief George’s love for Tribune.
He promised that the company would give adequate support to the aspiration of Chief George, whom he described as a friend of the house, noting, however, that such support would be “within the ambit of what media ethics and professionalism allow, because Tribune was founded by Chief Obafemi Awolowo on a sound philosophy of fairness, justice and truth.’’