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GEORGE TO OGUNLEWE: LET'S TEST OUR STRENGTH

By NBF News

Following moves by two splinter groups within the Lagos chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to hold parallel congresses on Saturday February 4, 2012, former national deputy chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George has affirmed the party's decision to hold a unified congress.

George leads the party in the state, but is fiercely opposed by former works minister, Chief Adeseye Ogunlewe, who aspires to be chairman. The congress has however been postponed till next month, in deference for the governorship elections in Bayelsa, Sokoto, Cross River and Adamawa States on different dates this month.

The party had earlier set up a reconciliation committee headed by Nigeria's Ambassador to Ghana, Musiliu Obanikoro. But there were fears that the reconciliation efforts failed to pay off, leading to the planned move to hold separate congresses by the two groups.

George however told Daily Sun yesterday that such moves only exist in the imagination of the people. Affirming the position of the party for a unified congress, the former chairman of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), disclosed that every authentic member or group in the party would be given a chance to participate in the congress, even as he added that Ogunlewe is not a member of the party.

He further said that there would be no sharing of positions between the two groups, as he would personally ensure that every aspirant is accommodated and given forms to contest. George, who expressed dissatisfaction with the activities of Ogunlewe and his supporters, described them as people without foundation, who want to reap where they did not sow.

Daily Sun learnt that leading members of the party in the state have since embraced the unified congress idea. They include a former minister. Chief (Mrs.) Dupe Sasore, former Lagos State Head of Service (HOS), Chief Rafiu Tinubu, and the governorship candidate of the party in the 2011 election Dr. Ade Dosunmu.

The former chairman of the party in the state Alhaji Murtala Asorobi and second Republic minister of science and technology Dr. Wahab Dosunmu are believed to be non-committal to it.