The leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State are now shopping for a gubernatorial candidate of Ibadan origin for the 2015 polls.
Sources close to the party elders confided in THISDAY that the elders position was informed by the insistence of the other parties to field a gubernatorial candidate from Ibadanland.
Already, the party leaders in Oke Ogun area of the state have dissociated itself from a recent media publication insinuating its backing for the rumoured bid of the former governor of the state, Mr. Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, to re-contest the state’s gubernatorial election in 2015.
The Oke-Ogun elders pointed out that the recent media report attributed to one Alhaji Yusuf Sarafadeen Alani popularly known as Ali Wajud to the effect that the PDP in Oke Ogun had been “begging and persuading Alao-Akala to take another shot at the governorship seat remained the imagination of sponsor of the report.
A leader of the party from Kishi, Mr. Zacheus Adeniji, said the party was stoutly opposed to the moves by anybody within it to canvass for the return of Alao-Akala as governor of the state in 2015.
While insisting that the alleged clamour was in the imagination of the author or sponsor of the report, apparently for selfish or parochial interest, he urged the spokesman of Oke-Ogun to “desist henceforth from using the collective name of Oke Ogun PDP in further advancing his own personal cause from his acclaimed benefactor Alao-Akala, having earlier bagged a top SURE-P position from his association with the former governor.
The PDP in Oke Ogun then warned party members to be cautious of their campaign for 2015 general election which it claimed was still far away, concluding that “2015 belongs to the Almighty God and that there is also the need for us to get to the stream before crossing the bridge.”
According to the PDP chieftain, the topmost priority of the party in Oke Ogun and the state for now was the determination to reconcile all the aggrieved party members and bring everyone together in the mainstream, a move which is already yielding positive dividends.
The party maintained that no diversionary tactics whatsoever would be allowed to truncate its noble mission in building a solid and enduring atmosphere for all stakeholders to thrive as a big family in the journey towards 2015.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) Ms Jumoke Akinjide, has expressed support for the ongoing rapprochement between Senator Rashidi Ladoja of Accord Party and Alao-Alaka, as “a step in the right direction.”
The minister in a statement at the weekend said that her position has consistently been to encourage the return of Senator Ladoja, a founding Board of Trustees member and former PDP governor, to the PDP.
The minister commended efforts by the PDP Governors’ Forum, Governor Ibrahim Shema-led Committee, and the reconciliation of the South-west Zonal PDP led by Dr. Yomi Finnih to find lasting solutions to the current disunity in the state PDP.
Akinjide’s view is that no one can hijack the party machinery; rather, every loyal party member must unite to form a cohesive and inclusive state party executive.
Part of the reconciliation process, according to the minister should include a “truth and reconciliation” process, whereby those who worked against the PDP from within during the 2011 elections admit their errors and anti-party misdeeds and pledge full loyalty to the party henceforth rather than narrow self interest.
Akinjide urged the PDP to unite and provide the people of the state with a more democratic and compassionate alternative to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)-led state government.