By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
A contestant of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) national chairman, Otunba Gbenga Daniel (OGD), has said that, months from now, power will return back to the party, as power returns to the Nigerian people. He made the remarks when he visited Kaduna to meet with the delegates to the party’s National Convention, billed for December 9, 2017.
“Kaduna is important because Kaduna is a PDP state. The present governor was a PDP Minister. Something the govt changed, people are beginning to say they miss PDP; by God’s grace, we will form the next govt in Kaduna State.
“The beauty of the PDP is that power belongs to people, but we list it due to lack of internal democracy, and the last few years, power is not in the hands of the people. Power eluded people and when thus opportunity came, I felt we should go round, so that power can come back to the people,” he stressed.
OGD said that at the states they have been to, they are happy that the people are yearning for the return of the party. “They said all they are enjoying are things done by PDP. In Katsina, they said what they are enjoying is Shema’s work. Same in Jigawa. In Benue, they said they are regretting APC leadership,” he said.
The chairmanship candidate stressed that government is not getting it right nationally, with the rising inflation. “Everywhere, salaries are not being paid, teachers are crying, doctors are crying. We are ready as a party to take over. But to take over we have to prepare by voting the right people next month,” he said.
He said what they needed to do was to get the past wrongs right. “One mistake the party made in 2015 has been corrected. When Yar’Adau died, Jonathan completed his tenure; the North was hoping that it would get power but it has been corrected, and PDP has zoned power to the region and, our people who, were aggrieved from the north, are coming back,” he added.
The former Ogun State governor stressed that the South West was the best to emerge national chairman of the party. “We from the South West believe we are best to be the chairman of the party. Other zones have been chairman and, in fairness, the South West deserves it.
“We are just coming from a South South presidency, and the last chairman was from there; so, the South West should be there. The South East said they don’t want chairman but vice president, so we can do that to encourage them. As such, the chairman should go South West,” he emphasized.
He thanked Kaduna State PDP for receiving him, saying he was happy because Kaduna is very important. “This is my second time of coming to Kaduna in four weeks. The last time I was here was four weeks ago when I visited Makarfi,” he said.
In his response, Kaduna PDP chairman, Honourable Hassan Hyat, said that OGD is part of Kaduna and, by right, one of the most respected elder citizens in Nigeria. “From what I know about you, I call your visit a formality. The way you have presented yourself and addressed our people in very gentle but penetrative words accompanied by a sweet smile is endearing to us.
“Let me say without contradiction I cherish the way you have been doing your campaign. At no time has the party felt pains from your campaign. Only a focused leader can do this without insulting anybody. It shows that before any tour, you always hold meetings with your people, and your message sinks.
“Even if the South West is qualified or not, Gbenga Daniel is qualified, so that, come December 9, God will wipe our tears. We want to implore all our leaders from the states to know they have allowed PDP to suffer and, by extension, Nigerians are suffering. When companies close up, construction companies stay for two years without working, and all we hear on papers is that they are planning,” he lamented.
Speaking further, he said that, “now that not just Nigerians but the whole world is saying ‘PDP put your house in order,’ we are waiting; so that on the 10th of December, it would be drumming and drumming and drumming,” he stressed.
DG of the campaign, Mr. Nicholas, said that they were honoured to be at the melting point of the North and the capital of Northern Nigeria. He said Kaduna was one of the two fortunate states to have a former minister as its party chairman in the state, with Plateau being the second.
He said OGD insisted that they must visit all the states; that is why they were visiting Kaduna, which is the 31st they have toured, adding that they were visiting each state because they want a one-on-one encounter with all the delegates.
“We are here because we want to plead with you not because we have money more than any other aspirant, but because we want to reclaim power in 2019.
“OGD was a two-term governor, a nationalist and experienced; the main reason why he should be the National Chairman. We are pleading with you, just as we have done in other states that we have toured to give us your votes. Because we emphasize that we are returning power back to the people,” he said.
The DG campaign assured that under an OGD Chairmanship, the LG chairmen of the party will be strengthened from the ward and the local government level, so that they can have strong base at the grassroots.