The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate in the 2015 governorship election of Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, has formally entered the race to become the party’s national chairman with a promise to return the PDP to winning ways.
Mr. Agbaje spoke yesterday after he picked the nomination forms for the national chairman of the PDP in Abuja.
A new national chairman and other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) are expected to emerge during the PDP national convention slated for Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on August 17.
The former governorship candidate, it would be recalled, was backed by power brokers in the PDP to emerge as its national chairman, even before the position was zoned to the South-west geo-political zone.
But the pharmacist turned politician said as a candidate who does not belong to any of the factions in the party, he stands a better chance to unite all the warring forces in the party.
According to him, it was high time the party learnt from its mistakes of the past that cost it power at the national level as well as some states that had previously been considered its stronghold.
He said: “We accept that mistakes were made in the past in the PDP, especially with our internal democracy. So we have to go back to the position of the founding fathers of our party on internal democracy.
“And that means that we have go back to our constitution. That is very important. We have to be more all-inclusive as we have been thus far. It is about bringing people nearer rather than sending them far away from the party. Everybody must feel to be part of this party.
“What I bring to the table is that I am not a member of any faction or any tendencies. I am in a position to talk to everybody, to ensure that if you love the PDP, then it is time to come back to the zone. I will appeal to those who feel very strongly to join us because Nigeria cannot make the progress it deserves without a viable opposition and that PDP is going to provide that opposition as an alternative government and in a responsible manner”.
Mr. Agbaje will go head-to-head against formidable co-aspirants for the coveted seat at the forthcoming national convention, among them his perceived political god-father, Chief Bode George, who last week, picked the nomination form to contest for national chairman of PDP.
National Broadcast: PDP Slams Buhari Over ‘Disappointing, Empty’ Speech – PDP
Recall that Buhari in his speech called for an end to the protest, adding that his government had already accepted and started implementing demands of the protesters.
He, however, failed to acknowledge the shooting of protesters by soldiers of the Nigerian Army at the Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday night.
Reacting in a statement on Thursday night by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbodinyan, the PDP said Buhari’s address was depressing and failed empathy test.
The party appealed to Nigerians, particularly the youth, to remain calm and allow a return to normal life in the collective quest for peaceful co-existence in the overall interest of the nation.
PDP Asks Buhari To Stop Killing Of #EndSARS Protesters Across Nigeria
This was contained in a statement titled “EndSARS- Lekki Massacre,” signed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, late on Tuesday.
Ologbodiyan said, “The Peoples Democratic Party, condemns in very strong terms, the killing of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos as well as other parts of our country.
“It is shocking that security agents and, in some cases, thugs, were reportedly deployed to end the lives of promising Nigerians. This, to say the least, is saddening.
“Those responsible for the heinous murder of the innocent and harmless Nigerians must account for their nefarious acts.
“The PDP calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct an end to these wanton killings across our nation.
#EndSARS: Gov Bello Warns Protesters Against Overthrowing Buhari
He stated this during an interview with Africa Independent Television AIT on Monday night.
Bello called on his fellow state governors to tack charge in their respective states so as to prevent loss of lives and properties due to attacks by hoodlums.
He, however, warned Nigerian youths to resist the temptation of using the current situation in the country to seek an undemocratic change in leadership.
The Governor warned that those interested in the presidency must wait till 2023 and go through democratic processes.
He urged the protesting youths to leave the streets and embrace dialogue.
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