Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja
Governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 general elections in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, has expressed confidence that the party will stage a comeback to the presidency come 2019.
But he said, that would be easier with him as national chairman.
He said this when he picked his form for the national chairmanship position of the party in Abuja with a pledge to unite the party while stressing that he leans to no side of the factions.
Agbaje also said nobody should be discouraged from entering the race as competition breeds qualified hands noting that the party constitution promotes equity amongst all its members.
“We must understand what is playing out. The party is very clear. What the party zoned is the National Chairmanship to the South. It is the south on its own now that is running to see if it can get some measure of consensus.
“It is already very difficult to get consensus under circumstances where everybody feels that he is qualified. The beauty of democracy is that you must be able, and shouldn’t be afraid to contest.
“What matters is that a level playing field is created and we shouldn’t bring this idea that we must have consensus. No! It is not even good to have consensus all the time. Let us have robust competition, because competition always brings out a better solution and I think that is important.
“So for me, I am not worried that there is this thing; the party is clear. It is zoned to the south, which is the preferred choice.
“Now it is for those in the south to decide what they want. If they say it is the Southwest, so be it. If you feel you can run against the tide, nobody will stop you. We must continue to go back to the constitution; the constitution does not give you the power to exclude anybody. When you exclude you create tension. If you say look, this is what we think is best, if you do not agree, then, get into the field and let us run this race.
“We accept that mistakes were made in the past in the PDP, especially with our internal democracy. So we have to go back to the position of the founding fathers of our party and that means that we have go back to our constitution.
“That is very important. We have to be more all-inclusive as we have been thus far. It is about bringing people nearer rather than sending them far away from the party. Everybody must fell to be part of this party.
“So what I bring to the table is that I am not a member of any faction or any tendencies. I am in a position to talk to everybody, to ensure as you love the PDP, then it is time to come back to the zone and appeal to those who feel very strongly to join us because Nigeria cannot make the progress it deserves without a viable opposition and that PDP is going to provide that opposition as an alternative government and in a responsible manner.
“We are going to provide that robust opposition but in a very responsible manner”, he said.