FORMER deputy national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bode George, in Lagos, on Monday, formally declared his ambition to contest the national chairmanship of the party at its national convention coming up in Port-Harcourt, the River State capital, on August 17.
The PDP chieftain said he had the political magic wand and skills to reposition the party currently rocked in leadership crisis.
George made this declaration at at the party secretariat at Sogunle, Ikeja, which was attended by PDP bigwigs from across the six states of the South-West.
Party chieftains and representatives of South-East, South-South and Arewa, who also spoke in support of George’s aspiration, said he remained the best for the vacant position.
Among those who spoke in support of the aspiration are Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Chief Ishola Filani, Chief Joju Fadairo, Senator Ayo Adeseun, Honourable Muraina Ajibola, Prince Remi Charles Akintoye, Senator Gbenga Babalola, Honourable Bunmi Jenyo.
George, while noting that these were not happy days for the PDP, as times appeared dark and bleak, however, pointed out that in the face of the current challenges, it was only a leader with his kind of experience in different leadership cadres of the party and uncommon leadership skills that could salvage the party.
“These are not happy days for our party. The times appear dark and bleak. The horizon is uncertain. We are being assailed in every corner. Problems brew everywhere. Our challenges appear endless and intractable. Every day, we are confronted with a new drama and with a new hurdle. Certainly, there are some obvious and not so obvious interests inside and outside our party who do not wish us well,” George lamented.
The PDP chieftain further lamented that members of the party had continued to engage themselves in destructive mutual consumption.
The party, he said, could, therefore, not afford to be stampeded into making wrong decisions again or be hurried into entrusting its fate to neophytes and inexperienced people in its planned next national convention.
“Our party needs a rescue. Our party needs redemption. Our party deserves a balanced, experienced, tested, trusted and faithful hand. Our party needs a team player and a unifying leadership. Our party needs stability.
“Here and now, I am humbly making a stand and a declaration as an aspirant for the position of the office of the national chairman of our party with a vision to serve as a bridge builder, as a peace-maker and as a healer of the broken places,” he said.
On his resolve to bring back the party to reckoning, the PDP chairmanship aspirant said “I have learned the ropes and I have been guided by the collective wisdom of our leaders across our great nation.
“I fully understand the precepts, the mechanisms and the constitution of our party. I know the tradition, the culture, the guiding ethos and the normative patterns that our leaders have built and nurtured for so many years.
“If elected, I am willing and ready to work with everyone regardless of personal differences to mend the broken places, to heal the ancient wounds, to reconcile the feuding factions and ultimately ensure that we strengthen our collective brotherhood and speak with one voice to regain victory in 2019.”
He, however, promised not to compromise on the foundational principles of justice, fairness and equity as enshrined in the constitution of the party.
Director-General, Bode George Campaign Organisation, Chief Babatope, who recalled that he had known the chairmanship aspirant for the past 49 years, described him as someone who had kept faith and had never disappointed any of his friends and associates.
Babatope, who said it was purely for the good and posterity of the nation that Chief George had come out to announce his candidature to contest the national chairmanship of PDP, cautioned the opposition to stop deriding the party as a dead one, adding that “the PDP, by the grace of Almighty God, is a party that is coming back to power.”