2019: S/W politicians must explore unity, work across cultural lines ― Bode George
AHEAD the conduct of 2019 general elections, former chairman of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, on Tuesday in Osogbo tasked politicians of South West extraction to explore unity and work across cultural lines with a view to enhance Yoruba nation’s collective fortunes and protest its interest.
This is just as he described as despicable the reported plot by eight lawmakers out of 30 legislators of the Benue State House of Assembly to impeach Governor Samuel Ortom.
George, who spoke during the grand zonal congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) South West Youth and Women Leaders, held in Osogbo emphasised that “as we position ourselves for the 2019 general elections, we must be thoughtful and sincere about what we want for our people and how we want to enhance the collective fortunes of the Yoruba nation in the larger expanse of the Nigerian union”.
He averred that “We cannot work alone. We must work across cultural lines. We must build bridges of friendship and cooperation across the vast Nigerian tribal crossroads in order to achieve the best for our people. We must negotiate with our first eleven. We must work together with those who share our vision of progress to enhance the leadership of our nation.
While using the forum to appeal to all the sectors of the Nigerian nation to please give fairness and peace a chance to strengthen the country’s corporate unity, George further stressed that “we cannot push any interest from mere parochial consideration. If we want to progress, if we want to break the shackles of marginalization, we must push forward the best and the brightest among us”.
According to him, “we can no longer afford to be going in different directions. That will not get us anywhere. It will always result in confusion and chaos. It will always result in aimlessness and forfeiture. As we push and pull in different ways, we become weaker and invariably enfeebled without any relevance, without any cogent achievements”
“We have abandoned the values of our founding fathers. We have derailed from that primaeval defining core of our cultural purities. Today, we occupy an inevitable position in the Nigerian firmament because we are now too much self-absorbed. We are too much hindered by parochial pursuits to the detriment of the greater Yoruba vision. We have dismantled the collective oneness which once gave us the cutting edge advantage in the past.
But all is not lost. We must return to the time-tested virtues of our founding fathers. We must return to the sacred dignities of old where personal ambitions were restrained by humility. We must return to the instinctive patriotic zeal that insists on a sacrifice and selfless service. We must return to the good old days when hard work and perseverance were treasured over the lazy recourse to the easy ways”, George remarked.
While commenting on the recent serving of impeachment notice on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue by eight out of 30 lawmakers of the state legislature, he said “as a Democrat, it is absolutely despicable. I am happy that the Presidency has withdrawn from being part of it. Oshiomhole must be reminded that he never served in the army, he claimed to be a Democrat. We served in the military and we know when the order is given and we know when you now subject yourself to democratic tenets”.
He stated posited that “we must respect the wishes of the majority. The majority will have their way and the minority must have their say. That is the simplest definition of what democracy is all about. I am happy that Nigerians are now seeing the kind of people that congregate the manager of the APC. I felt shocked when I heard about it, but I was happy this morning when the President dissociates himself from it”.
In his earlier remark, the zonal youth leader of the PDP in South West, Mr Femi Adetola noted that “to reclaim South West for PDP, we have to brainstorm and re-strategise. Osun State governorship election is less than two months away”, stressing that “this programme is more or less a pilot scheme which would be extended to other states and local governments in the South West”.