Former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, has denied that any of the aspirants contesting for the National Chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party from the South West was ratified at the caucus meeting held in Akure, Ondo State on Monday.
Prof. Adeniran, who picked the nomination form for the position on the same day, said reports that he was at the meeting hosted by the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, was erroneous.
The Eagle Online reports that in a statement by his media aide, Yemi Akinbode, the PDP chairmanship aspirant said the Akure meeting was designed from the onset to ratify the candidate of a minority members of the party from the South-west, hence his decision not to be part of it.
“What happened in Akure is tantamount to working from the answer to the question; it was not set out to be transparent and democratic,” he stated.
Adeniran said all the aspirants who obtained the nomination forms should be allowed to contest the election at the national convention, warning the South-west leaders particularly not to play into the hands of those who did not want the zone to produce the party chairman.
He reminded the party leaders and delegates to the convention of how the PDP and the All Progressives Congress lost their preferred choices for the leadership of the National Assembly in 2011 and 2015 to other forces as a result of going into those elections with a divided house.
Prof. Adeniran aligned with the admonition of former Senate President, David Mark, and Senator Ahmed Makarfi, the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the party, that the PDP should move away from imposition because that was what led it to its present situation of being in opposition for the first time after constituting the Federal Government and majority of the state governments for 16 years.
Senator Mark had warned against “self-inflicted injuries on account of imposition of candidates and the impunity of some leaders”.
Prof. Adeniran said the PDP must work towards producing a credible leadership that would not be distracted by the baggage of the past.
He cautioned: “Our party is at a critical stage of its life and we must endeavour to elect leaders whose record of public service has never been tainted so that they can concentrate of rebuilding the party towards returning to power in 2019.”
The Professor of Political Science had picked his nomination form in the presence of party stakeholders and prominent stalwarts, including Hon. Oke Olusola Babatunde from Ekiti State, Hon Oluwole Oke from Kwara State, Engr. Chinedum Ekeh from Abia State and Hon. Temitope Atte from Kogi State.
Adeniran then urged the delegates and leaders of the party to entrust him with the responsibility of being the National Chairman in order to ensure its rebirth and the enthronement of good governance in the country.
He said: “At this crucial period of our party and national polity, we need someone who has genuine interest of the party and is acceptable across boards; someone that has no integrity issue. I believe our delegates will appreciate the great need of the party for the personality I represent.”
Prof. Adeniran was Minister of Education from June 1989 to January 2001, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany between May 2004 and January 2007, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Universal Basic Education Commission between 2009 and 2011 and Chairman and Director of the Directorate for Social Mobilisation from 1987 to 1992.