Chief Olabode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Sunday said he is ready to offer his service to reposition the party and lead it to victory in the 2023 general elections if the stakeholders want him to vie for the position of national chairman.
George, a former military governor of old Ondo State, was one of the leading aspirants for the position in 2017 but disunity in the South-West chapter of the party paved the way for Prince Uche Secondus who is from Rivers State in the South-South region to win the election.
Now with opposition to Secondus’ continued stay in office by the party stakeholders led by his erstwhile benefactor, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, George’s name alongside that of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former Osun State governor; Eyitayo Jegede, PDP governorship candidate in Ondo governorship election, and Liyel Imoke, former Cross Rivers State governor, are being touted as possible replacement for Secondus, who is also said to be making moves to secure reelection for a second term.
Speaking with World Africa, George said as a committed member of the PDP, a party he laboured with other eminent Nigerians to form, he will offer his help if the elders in the party ask him to come and use his wealth of experience to reposition it ahead of the 2023 general elections.
He said, “I think if you are a committed member of any organisation and they need your support at a critical time like this, then you should be willing to assist. If I am asked to come and help the PDP, a party I love so much, why not?
“Between now and the next election, we need all the right minds to come to the table and stabilise our platform and prepare our party for the elections. If they ask me to come, I will serve, at least effectively until after the general elections.
“I have thought about it and I said ‘look, I am tired’.
But if the party leaders now think I should go for the position of national chairman, I will offer them my service. As long as there is life, there is hope.
“All we need now are men who have proven integrity and capacity to manage the affairs of the party. We need dedicated and committed men who will be fair, just and equitable. Those three tripods are the main tenets that our party requires now”.
Speaking on the readiness of the PDP to dislodge the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as the ruling party at the centre, George said he was happy that the stakeholders have agreed that the Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee (NWC) is unfit to lead the party to victory and should step aside for competent managers to take charge of the affairs of the party.
“I am happy that all our people are now saying the current leaders managing the affairs of the party should take a step aside and let’s bring in the best of brains to help the party. I will appeal to our people; we must have all hands on deck to save our party. It is not a personal issue now.
“The party platform is wobbling very badly and we must be able to stabilise it and allow it to get itself ready to contest against those in government now.”
On the forthcoming convention of the party scheduled for October, George said Secondus and current members of the NWC should not be allowed to interfere on how the congresses and convention will be conducted as they cannot be judges in their own case.