Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has warned that the party might lose the 2023 presidential election if equity, fairness, and internal democracy was not allowed to prevail, particularly, emphasizing that the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, must go as the starting point.
He said if Ayu did not resign, the party would be seen as telling the people of southern part that they were not wanted.
“With two weeks to the commencement of campaign season, that we believe will usher in a PDP government into Aso Rock in 2023, unfortunately, I am compelled to address a ‘clear and present danger’ that might thwart this window of opportunity afforded the PDP.
“Our party is at the precipice of a dangerous looming crisis if pending critical issues are not urgently addressed. Party unity and inclusiveness of all members are ingredients to a viable strategy for our election victory.
“Pitiably, some of our leaders are, directly or indirectly, responsible for the present crisis in the party because of their flawed personal interests, which are targeted at disrupting the unity of our great party,” he said.
He lamented that leaders of the party must not pander to ethnic affiliation, because PDP is the only truly national party, while the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) was just a mere congregation of strange bedfellows.
He, however, said members of the party must not “allow any sentiment – ethnic or religious – to divide us. Unfortunately, with what we are presently witnessing, our party may lose the next presidential election if we continue to disregard or fail to address the feeling and grievances of ‘alienation’ being presently experienced by the entire Southern population of this great country. If this issue is dismissed, we cannot expect votes from them.
“In May this year, we elected our presidential candidate in the person of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, setting aside the principle of rotation as enshrined in the constitution of our party in the interest of peace and unity of our party. Today, we are in a situation in which our National Chairman is from the same zone as our presidential candidate.
“Some people are insisting that there is nothing wrong with this present arrangement. Some have argued that this happened during Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, where the candidate and the national chairman were from the same zone.
“Let the truth be told, there are remarkable differences in the scenario then and now. Then we had the leader of the party, who was then a sitting president from the South and the candidate was from the North.”