Southwest optimistic of occupying post, says Adedoja
Former Minister of Special Duties, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja; an aspirant to the national chairmanship position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming December 9 convention, said despite opposition from the South-South, the Southwest would still occupy the post. SEYE OLUMIDE reports.
The Port Harcourt agreement settled for a Southwest national chairman but now, with the turn of events, the position might go to South-South. I have no doubt in my mind that the pendulum will still swing to the Southwest irrespective of what is happening now but that does not foreclose the fact that we should put our house in order before the convention. Reason I said so was that during my consultation visit to the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, who doubles as Chairman PDP Governors Forum; I advanced reasons for the National Chairmanship to come to Southwest. I made him to see reason why the zone should occupy the position at the time that he is both the only PDP Governor in Southwest and the Chairman of PDP Governor’s Forum in Nigeria. I told him it would be historically relevant to his advantage if that happened during his tenure.
Are you optimistic of a free and fair convention?
I have no doubt in my mind that we are going to organise a hitch free convention, which will produce the officers that would direct the affairs of the party. The fact is the PDP, after the July 12 Supreme Court verdicts, has remained on the right path and we are going to maintain that cordial family relationship until 2019 when we will oust the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) from power.
There are strong indices that the ruling party may not attract the sympathy of the electorate any longer because of its inability to deliver on its promises and also that Nigeria has retrogressed seriously in the last two and half years that the party came into power. In a nutshell we are going to have a successful convention and thereafter move ahead to take over power in the country.
What do you have to lead the PDP to victory?
That is an interesting question and I will start by telling you emphatically that Prof. Taoheed Adedoja is a detribalized Nigerian and a bridge builder who has contributed immensely to the unity and development of Nigeria.
What stands me out among other aspirants is the fact that I have a strong affiliation with every region in the country and I will explain that you. I am a native of Ibadan; Oyo State but was born in Kano where I grew up and also had my elementary and post elementary education. I rose to become the Dean of the Faculty of Education at Bayero University Kano from 1991 to 1996. I have lived and worked Oyo, Osun, Kano, Jigawa, Borno, Delta and Edo states and to say the least I speak Hausa language very well.
I have also carried out various national assignments in places like the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Imo, Rivers, Niger, Kaduna, Katsina and Sokoto States. My long association with the people of South-South and Southeast will be a rare advantage to our party. For the PDP to have someone like me as the national chairman that will drive it in the crucial 2019 general elections would be an advantage not only to the fortunes of the party but also to all its supporters. I can communicate and relate effectively across all the tribes. I belief I have what it takes to steer the PDP to victory in the next election.
Some of the contestants are banking on their service at the party’s level.
As an experienced grassroots politician, I have participated in various grassroots mobilizations, party meetings, campaigns and rallies at ward, local government, state and national levels. I am readily in touch with the general public and grassroots politicians. The PDP campaign trains have also taken me to virtually all parts of Oyo and beyond while other stakeholders have acknowledged my active participation in the party’s campaigns in other states particularly during the 2011 and 2015 senatorial, governorship and presidential campaigns.
If it is boasting of meritorious service in the PDP, I am as qualified as anybody because my track records are there to show. My aspiration is not based on personal interest nor that or returning the party to power for the mere sake of it, but is borne out of the genuine passion to ensure that this country and its citizens under the leadership of the PDP, is appropriately repositioned to take its place among the comity of nations.
What is your agenda to move the party forward?
I have a solid 15-point agenda that if implemented will ultimately reposition our party. First, I will provide the needed leadership with fresh ideas for repositioning and rebranding with a view to retrieving the peoples mandate and I am also going to ensure that the party presents winning candidate(s) for the 2019 elections.
My leadership will also ensure the promotion of party sustainability at the ward, local government, state and national level, through viable business ventures and investments and as well ensuring internal democracy and party discipline.
One of the banes of political parties in this country is lack of conformity with financial regulations and discipline, which I am looking forward to implementing with international best practices on transparency and accountability.
Other areas of importance is the provision of enabling environment for the welfare of staff at the party’s headquarters in Wadata Plaza and at the wards, local governments and states. This we shall do by ensuring the welfare of all party members through the provision of group insurance, welfare and social security packages among others.
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