The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Diran Odeyemi on Wednesday declared that candidates that contested for the National Chairmanship position of the party from South West geo-political zone caused their own defeat and not anyone else.
Odeyemi while speaking at a thank you visit to members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State council in Ibadan, said what happened in Abuja last Saturday during the election of National Executive members of the party was also a big lesson for Yoruba leaders.
He said what happened was. The fault of the candidates and not from any stalwart of the party as being speculated.
Odeyemi, however, advised leaders of the region, irrespective of political party, to always speak with one voice when they are contesting against other zones.
He said the defeat was glaring when South West had about seven candidates jostling for only one position, while other zones like South-South, had only one candidate.
He said it was clear that the likes of Chief Olabode George, Senator Rasidi Ladoja, Professor Taoheed Adedoja, Professor Tunde Adeniran, Mr. Jimi Agbaje and Otunba Gbenga Daniel and the seventh contestant would loose in the election because the voters were surprised that the zone could not produce only one or two candidates for the post.
Odeyemi noted that it was this reason leaders from other zones decided not to vote for any of the South West candidates because the house was already divided against itself.
He said “What happened to Yorubas during the election is a lesson. There is no way seven people from the zone can go for election and expect them to emerge victorious when other zones only have one candidate.
“I want to believe that the failure to get the chairmanship slot was caused mainly by the contenders themselves.
“Having said that, it is not only through the position of chairmanship of the PDP that South West can benefit; are we now saying I am not from South West or is Aribisala from Ekiti who is the Treasurer not from South West, are we now saying that the Deputy Women leader from Lagos is not from South West? We are talking of South West to be at the helms of affairs.
“PDP is a national party that believe in zoning, everything was zoned to each federating unit to accommodate everybody, one came to Osun, one went to Ekiti, some to Lagos State, some to Delta, if the contention is now the Chairmanship, I want to believe that it is not the fault of anybody but the fault of the contenders themselves.
“And it is very unfortunate, we have learnt our lessons from there, and I want to believe that the leaders in Yorubaland should see that as a clear indication that until we are able to speak with one voice, we will not achieve anything; though it is not that South West is not adequatly represented in the PDP National working committee.
“I want to believe again that if anybody is saying that South West has been short-changed because of the Chairmanship position, I see it as one of the propaganda of the APC.
“Is Yoruba the National Chairman of the APC, they will soon organise the National Convention and you will see if Yoruba will emerge as their National Chairman.
“We are all Nigerians and that is one thing about PDP; PDP is a national party, whoever emerge as the Chairman is our Chairman and we are not contending that. And it is normal in any election, the first thing after election is reconciliation.
“Personally, I have reconciled with whoever contested the election with me, that is my brother, Abiodun Ojo and Bamidele Salam, they all congratulated me after the election, if an election is organised in a free and fair manner, whoever emerges as winner will take it as good thing, whoever loses the election should develop the spirit of sportsmanship and that is what has happened in PDP; and as far as PDP is concerned we are doing our reconciliation. It is going on well, Secondus has been moving round, the governors have been moving round and we will active a lot with the reconciliation.
“So the issue of South West in PDP being short-changed is the creation of APC and we are not bothered”.