OBASANJO BOMBS BANKOLE, DANIEL
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Saturday, lamented the inability of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to manage its success in the South West.
Obasanjo's lamentation came on the heels of a riot act read out by the PDP National Vice-Chairman (South West), Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo, that the party would no longer accept imposition of candidates or kangaroo party primaries.
Speaking at the expanded zonal meeting of the party at the Osogbo Stadium, the former president, who is also the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the party, was particularly unhappy over the absence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, and the Senate Leader, Senator Teslim Folarin, at the meeting.
Lamenting that many members have been shut out due to self-interest of political office holders in the zone, Obasanjo said: 'We should stop being lackadaisical in our party. We must not shut the doors against those interested in joining our party as well as those planning to return to the fold after defecting.
'We should invite them and open the door for them. If your fear is that opportunities in the party will not be enough, I disagree. What is on ground can go round everybody.'
He flayed the South West governors for not working enough for the party and its success, saying many members of the party were only interested in seeking one position or the other and not for the collective interest of the party.
'We are no longer working for the party again. Our interest is solely for positions. What is the reason some people have to stay off this meeting today? We will appeal to whoever is angry. If they refuse to budge, we will not relent in begging them.
'We, Yorubas, are known to be pace-setters from the beginning. But what is the problem with all of you that you have failed to set pace? Others copy from us but today we are copying from them. We must return to our glorious past as pace-setters and others will take us as example,' he added.
Earlier at the meeting, Alhaji Oladipo said the party was poised to embrace internal democracy by disregarding any kangaroo party primaries and imposition of candidates, which he said has been the cause of series of crisis rocking the party and others across the country.
One of the major impediments to credible election is lack of internal democracy within the rank and file of political parties across the country. This has led to a situation where primaries were either not held or they were manipulated or where credible candidates were prevented entirely from contesting in the primaries.
'Experience has shown that when such happens, the party is fragmented and the opposition ranks is given stronger bite in the general election. It is on this note that I will like to sound a strong warning to all our state chapters of the party, including our leaders in the states, the governors,' Oladipo stated.