Former National Vice-Chairman (South) of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Olabode George, on Friday said he remained the best candidate to be the next chairman of the party.
He made the statement in Lagos while formally declaring his intention to contest the chairmanship seat of the party.
Mr. George said what the PDP needed at this critical moment was a committed, energetic, experienced party man to redeem and reposition it.
He attributed the party’s loss of the presidency to the deviation of the goals and standards erected by of the PDP’s founding fathers.
The party chieftain said the party had been facing some challenges as a result of the defeat, but pledged to return the party to winning ways if elected.
“Our party needs a rescue. Our party needs redemption. Our party deserves a balanced, experienced, tested, trusted and a faithful hand."
"Our party needs a team player and a unifying leadership. Our party needs stability."
“Here and now, I am humbly making a stand and a declaration as a candidate for the position of the office of National Chairman of our great party with a vision to serve as a bridge builder, as a peacemaker and healer of broken pieces, “he said.
Mr. George, however, said he did not have the answers to all the problems of the party but was prepared to work with others to ensure the restoration of its vision.
Giving more reasons why he was the best man to lead the party, he said he had been a loyal party man who had stayed with the PDP through thick and thin.
Mr. George said he fully understood the precepts, the mechanisms and constitution of the party and that he knew the ethos, the tradition and culture built by founding fathers.
He said it was not a time to experiment, appealing to all party members to support his aspiration to lead the party.
Also speaking at the occasion, a former Minister of Transportation, Ebenezer Babatope, said Mr. George was the most qualified to lead the party.
He said he had a track record of performance and that he had the experience to return the party to winning ways.
“George has the maturity, the experience, the courage to lead our party. He has a track record of performance. He will deliver,” Mr. Babatope said.
In his goodwill message, former National Vice Chairman of the party (South West), Tajudeen Oladipo, said Mr. George had laboured and suffered for the party.
Mr. Oladipo said it was time for the party to reward Mr. George for all he had done by voting him as next chairman.
“Apart from the fact that he laboured for the party, he is articulate, strong, courageous and energetic, and I can bet he will give the party the best,” he said.
Also, a former minister, Adeseye Ogunlewe, said Mr. George is the man PDP needs to reposition the party.
He described him as a performer who would change the fortunes of the party if elected.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other PDP chieftains such as former ministers, Olusola Obada and Dapo Sarumi, also gave open support to George at the declaration.
The South West Zonal Executive of the party led by Eddie Oyefeso also threw their weight George’s aspiration.
Former deputy governor of Lagos State, Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, among others, was also at the occasion to give her support.
NAN reports that the City Hall venue was turned into a carnival as cultural groups and live bands entertained party members dressed in the party’s colors.