BY BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO
LOKOJA – Former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel said if elected as chairman of the Peoples Democratic party, PDP, in the December 5 convention, he will turn the fortune of the party around.
The former governor who is one of the leading aspirant for the PDP chairmanship position made this known in Lokoja on Wednesday at the Kogi State PDP Secretariat in during his campaign visit to the State.
He also tasked the state party to ensure that they flush the APC out of Lugars House in 2019; said the ruling party internal schuffle especially between the Governor and Senator Dino Melaiye has become an embarrassment to the country and that he could lead the PDP to bounce back and “change the change” at the federal and state levels it had lost, come 2019.
He described the PDP prior to the 2015 elections as crises-ridden and promised to deal decisively with all the crisis that bedevilled the party and robbed it of its prime position in the country.
He said, “I’m a crisis manager as I have just told you; and not only that.
“ I’m a tested hand. I understand what it means to run an election. I have manned a state before and I have managed people.
“The bulk of the challenge we have in the party is just people’s management.
”For you to be successful, you must have the capacity to manage interlocking interests.
“As crisis managers, we must strive very hard to underplay areas of division”, he said.
The former governor said he was presenting himself for the position of the national chairman to rebuild the party.
Daniel attributed PDP’s defeat in the just concluded Anambra governorship election to imposition of candidate.
He promised to entrench the culture of internal democracy, if successful in his bid at the forthcoming convention.
Responding, State Chairman of PDP, Mr Sam Ohuotu, commended the former governor and his team for bringing their campaign train to Kogi, assuring him of members’ support.
Ohuotu described the aspirant as a leader with capacity to lead the party to victory in view of his antecedents.
He, however. warned that it was not going to be a smooth sail, saying: “if we start by attacking ourselves from the beginning, then we have lost it’’.
“My opinion therefore is that there might be issues, but we must not personalise such issues, and I believe we will resolve our issues. Regrettably, we didn’t show that we have learnt any lesson.
“From my own little investigation, people said that the PDP candidate in Anambra election was a good candidate.
“But what we keep hearing was that the process that brought that candidate was faulty and that is precisely what I keep talking about.
“That this is about management of human beings. We could still have brought that up without pressing on anybody’s head,” he said.
About Kogi State, the national chairmanship aspirant tasked members of the party to worked hard and wrestle power from the All Progressive Congress (APC) and return back to Lugard House in 2019.
According to him, “Kogi was a PDP state. Some manipulation happened during the last election in 2015 governorship election which gave APC the victory.
“Before, Kogi used to be very peaceful but the story line had now changed. If it is not the senator beating the governor, the governor will be beating the senator.
“This is very pathetic. The people of the state are tired of this arrangement. I therefore urge you to go and work hard to return to Lugard House”