The Bayelsa State governor and Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Reconciliation Committee, Seriake Dickson, said the party’s future is assured and would be brighter in coming elections with former Governor Rashidi Ladoja as leader of the party and grandmaster in Oyo State.
Dickson said this in Ibadan after a closed-door meeting with Ladoja at his Ondo Street residence in Bodija.
He led other members of the committee, including the Board of Trustees (BoT) chairman of the party, Ambassador Aminu Wali, Senator Abdullah Ningi, John Odey, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide and others to the closed-door meeting.
Also with the committee were the zonal leadership of the party led by its chairman, Dr Eddy Olafeso, members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, including its national publicity secretary and his deputy, Kola Ologbodiyan and Diran Odeyemi respectively and others.
He said Ladoja, who was an aspirant to the national chairmanship seat of the party, had assured the PDP leadership that he would mobilise other leaders in the region for the success of the party in the South-West and at the national level.
The governor said there was nobody in PDP who did not know that “where Ladoja goes determines where Oyo State goes,” and commended him for returning to the party and “nurturing victory and prominence.”
The chairman debunked insinuation that the South-West had been relegated with the loss of the national chairmanship position, assuring leaders in the region that the zone would continue to occupy a pride of place in PDP and in all the calculations the party would have moving forward.
He explained after the meeting that the purpose of the visit was to address “some concerns and issues” that came to the fore in the aftermath of the party’s national convention.
“These are times that we need the guidance and wise counsel of leaders like Ladoja across the country. We had a very fruitful and robust discussion. It is reassuring that Ladoja, the leader of men we have always known, is available to continue to play that leadership role for our party and for the service of our country. He is not only the leader in Oyo State; he is a key pillar of PDP in South-West and Nigeria as a whole.
“Here is Oyo State and in the South-West, we have a grandmaster who has seen it all as a former governor, Senator. We know that in his hands, the fate of the PDP in Oyo and South-West is safe. In his hands and with him mobilising and galvanising other leaders and the followership and the people of the South-West, the zone will continue to occupy its pride of place in the PDP,” Dickson said after the meeting.
In his remarks, Ladoja commended the committee which he said was being led by a straightforward governor. He assured Governor Dickson that all the aspirants who lost out in the power play for the national chairmanship position would remain in the PDP.
The former governor said he and other aspirants had held discussions after the convention and had secured firm assurances from them that they would remain in the party.
“You would have observed that something dramatic happened at the convention when aspirants from the South-West picked a consensus candidate in Professor Tunde Adeniran. Since the convention, those of us from the South-West have been talking and all of us are remaining in the PDP,” he said.