Ahead of the May 21 national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), leaders of the party in South-West, on Thursday, took their destiny in their hands., demanding for the party’s national chairmanship slot.
The party leaders told the Acting National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, that the position of the national chairman must be zoned to the South-West.
They also insisted, at a meeting held at Golden Gate Restaurant, Ikoyi, Lagos that the marginalisation of the zone since 1998, when the party was founded, must stop now.
They listed national chairmen of the party since inception to include Chief Solomon Lar, Chief Barnabas Gemade, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, Chief Bello Haliru, Chief Okwesiliezi Nwodo, Chief Abubakar Baraje, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, Dr. Adamu Muazu, Chief Uche Secondus and Modu Sheriff.
In a communique at the end of the meeting, the elders declared that they would no longer tolerate the role of subservient player in the party.
At the meeting were George, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, Senator Bode Olajumoke, Hon. Mulikat Adeola-Akande, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Dr. Doyin Okupe, Captain Tunji Shelle, Dr. Remi Akintoye, Senator Femi Kila, Elder Joju Fadairo, Prince Olateru-Olagbegi, Engineer Jide Adeniji, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Engineer Remi Awotorebo and Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarunmi.
Others included Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, Chief Dosu Ladipo, Chief Onikepo Oshodi, Elder Soboyejo, Erelu Olusola Obada, Hon. Jelili Amusan, Senator Segun Bamigbetan, Ambassador Dare Bejide, Dr. Bimbo Ogunkelu and Dr. Charles Remi Akintoye.
The communique reads:
The leaders of the Yoruba People of the South-West met in Lagos to deliberate on the affairs of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and hereby resolved as follows:
1. That the Yoruba people have played a very significant role in the advancement and growth of our party and our nation.
2. That the PDP founding principle was based on equity and balance.
3. That the Yoruba people are being elbowed out of the power equation by the individual ambitions of some persons within the party.
4. That the Yoruba people are not treated with deserved honour respectability.
5. That the Yoruba people will no longer tolerate nor accept the role of subservient player in the PDP.
6. That the Yoruba people must now stand firm and reassert themselves.
7. That we must no longer be treated as orphans within the party.
8. Those who renounce the position of the National Chairmanship of our party do not speak for the Yoruba people.
9. That the South-West PDP insists on claiming the position of the National Chairman, based on equity and fairness.
10. That the South-West is adequately prepared and well qualified to lead our great party, given our rich antecedents of history, knowledge and culture.
11. That the Yoruba people will fight this good cause with determination, with fairness of purpose and with the formidable pursuit of the truth.
12. That a powerful delegation of the Yoruba people should be mustered to demand for the position of the chairman of the party.
13. That the Yoruba people must continue to uphold the truth, honour, integrity, selflessness and the Omoluabi culture.
14.Being a democratic and liberal people, the Yoruba are, however, open for further consultations and negotiations to sort out issues at the appropriate forum
*Chief Olabode Ibiyinka George,
Atona Odua of Yorubaland,
On behalf of South-West Leaders.