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The director-general of Professor Tunde Adeniran Campaign Organisation, Alhaji Shehu Gabam, has urged PDP faithfuls across the country to reward loyal party members with key positions in its forthcoming convention in December.
Gabam made the call during an interaction with journalists on Monday, October 9 at the campaign office of Professor Tunde Adeniran.
Professor Adeniran, a former minister of education, is one of the key contenders of the PDP chairmanship race.
Gabam, a former chief of staff to the Bauchi state government, stated that Adeniran’s candidature is a departure from the past where people with questionable characters are elected to lead the party.
His words: “Let us reduce promoting people with questionable characters, otherwise PDP cannot move forward. Today we have people with questionable characters vying for different positions. People with shady characters.
“Some of them destroyed this party. And today they are vying for positions and certain class of people are protecting them and maligning decent people who have injected their personal integrity, time, resources and energy in stabilizing the PDP as a party.”
He stated that Professor Tunde Adeniran Campaign Organisation is not afraid of any other contender or any form of competition, but warned that they are not interested in a consensus candidate.
He said: “We are not looking for consensus. We are looking for fair play. The convention must be transparent. The convention must be open. Otherwise there will be serious consequences.
“We’ll never go back to an era where people can conspire and decide the fate of millions of PDP faithful. It was a protest vote that led to the loss of PDP by PDP members themselves. It is not APC that defeated PDP. It is PDP members who defeated PDP themselves because of imposition, because of rascality and lack of respect to the dos and don’ts of the party.
“We don’t want to be part of those who tensed up the situation. We’re willing to balance any behavior that is not decent. We have the capacity and we are ready to come up with issues and facts if this blackmail is not stopped by those that are involved in it. By those that are beneficiaries of such things. We’ll take it up and we’ll deal with it ruthlessly.”
He urged the party leaders to stand by their decision to micro-zone the chairmanship of the party to the southwest region, adding that any last minute changes will spell doom for the party.
He stated that it is the interest of the PDP to balance the sensibilities of the party and stick to its stance on the southwest producing the party’s national chairman.
He warned that the southwest region should not be under-rated, stressing that they played a huge role in the PDP, and have never had the opportunity to lead the party.
Gabam also dismissed rumours that former presidents, Ibrahim Babangida and Olusegun Obasanjo are supporting and bankrolling Professor Adeniran’s campaign.
On Babangida, he said: “Being a former president of Nigeria, he has produced a lot of people in this country. People should learn how to separate friendship and interest. Politics is strictly about interests. Nobody can stop relationships. Adeniran and IBB have been in a relationship before the PDP was registered.
“There is no party leader we have not visited to seek for prayers and advice. We didn’t make it a media event with pictures looking for endorsements. There is a relationship of respect and dignity and that is it.
“Whether anybody likes it or not, IBB played a very crucial role in the emergence of PDP in 1999. The PDP itself have said that the military wing played a crucial role.”
On Obasanjo, he said: “Those behind the rumours are saying it because Obasanjo is a threat to them. They are doing everything possible so that Obasanjo would not play any role in the politics of Nigeria. But they forgot that destiny brought him into power.
“Some of those making these allegations were also beneficiaries of Obasanjo, they served in Obasanjo’s cabinet, but today, it is not pleasing them, what is pleasing them is that Adeniran is being tagged as Obasanjo’s boy.”
He revealed that members of the campaign organisation tasked themselves financially to contribute to Adeniran’s chairmanship, stressing that this is the time for politicians under the PDP to contribute to the financial commitments of the party.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has assured Nigerians that the party would defeat the APC in 2019.
Makarfi said a starting point to returning to Aso Rock in 2019 was to ensure that its elective convention scheduled for December was transparent and fair.
He made the statement when he received a delegation of former National Working Committee of the party on Tuesday, September 19 in Abuja.