A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftain, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, on Sunday gave credence to the Chairmanship ambition of the former Deputy Chairman of the party Chief Bode George.
Babatope, a former Director of Organisation in the defunct Obafemi Awolowo’s Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), told newsmen in Lagos that he was fully in support of George’s ambition for the party’s top job.
He described the former Chairman of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) as the best man for the vacant chairmanship slot of the PDP based on his fatherly figure.
“We will struggle hard to produce a strong, effective and result-oriented party chairman, in fact, the Supreme Court’s verdict has affirmed Ahmed Markarfi as the real power house of PDP.
“We are now expecting another chairman and we are going to get that. I am giving my full support for the chairmanship position to George because he is the most experienced.
“George being my choice does not, however, have overriding opinion over other members of the party, everybody is welcome to support the candidates of their choice.
“I am picking George because of his experience as a party faithful who will ensure reconciliation of all aggrieved members of the party. Experience is the best teacher,’’ Babatope said.
Babatope, also a former Minister of Transport and Aviation during the late General Sani Abacha’s administration, advised that whoever emerged as the PDP chairman should ensure full reconciliation of all the members.
“Whoever emerges as the chairman of PDP must ensure the full reconciliation of all the members. We need a full house now to fulfil the yearnings of the party.
“The chairman should be a rallying point who will be father to all and I know George very well, he is up to the task.
“What is important now is to have full reconciliation in PDP, everybody is welcome to the party and we want to make our party great again.
“Nobody will be left behind in our reconciliation efforts, even Ali Modu Sheriff is also free to contest for the chairmanship,’’ he said.
Babatope said that the PDP’s door was open to all members irrespective of their affiliation, adding that the party would strive to provide a strong opposition to the ruling party, All Progressive Congress (APC).
“As far as we are concerned, the door of the party is open to all members irrespective of their alliances; even Sheriff himself is free to contest.
“There has been reports that Sheriff wants to contest for the chairmanship position, why not? He should feel free to announce himself as others have.
“We need everybody and there is no foe in the party, nobody will be left behind; as I speak, efforts are ongoing to have the mini convention slated for August.
“We are poised to give the ruling party APC a formidable opposition because it has done nothing. We are ready to take over the government again,’’ he said.