From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Plans to get the South West to produce a consensus candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairmanship position may be dead on arrival as two aspirants, Chief Olabode George and Professor Taoheed Adedoja, yesterday, kicked against the idea. George, a former deputy national chairman of the party, said he would continue with his bid to be PDP national chairman regardless of the outcome of the consensus arrangement.
The former PDP deputy national chairman, who spoke through the chairman of his campaign organisation, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, told Daily Sun it will be good if the consensus materialises. Asked what he would do if George is not the person chosen as the consensus candidate, Babatope replied: “If it materialises, good. But, it takes two to tango. I cannot say what we are going to do.
But, I will remind you of what the Bible says: ‘He who puts his hand on the plough must not look back. In the Bode George Campaign Organisation, we are going ahead. There is no going back. We are going to take our campaign to the 36 states and hopefully, win the national chairmanship.”
On his part, Adedoja, who is a former minister of Sports and Youth Development, flatly rejected the proposed consensus. He said all the candidates should be allowed to test their popularity at the national convention. Besides, the former minister said the idea of a consensus candidate from the South West may become a subject of litigation as those who are not favoured may want to challenge it in court.
“Everybody should be given opportunity to contest at the national convention. “Whoever emerges at the national convention is the consensus candidate that the new PDP which the members are building.
“Those that are afraid of the emergence of a nationally accepted chairman are the ones pushing for consensus kangaroo arrangement,” the former minister told Daily Sun. Amidst fears that the region may lose the chairmanship if it does not present a common front, Adedoja said he believes the zone will clinch the position and he would emerge as the next leader of the opposition party.
Last week, Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose met with some PDP leaders in the South West, including George, to explore the possibility of the zone coming up with a consensus candidate for the position.
Aside George and Adedoja, other candidates from the South West interested in the national chairmanship position are Otunba Gbenga Daniel and Senator Rashidi Ladoja, former governors of Ogun and Oyo states, respectively. Others are former minister of Education, Professor Tunde Adeniran and former Lagos PDP governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje. (The Sun)