The Ogun State capital, Abeokuta, literally stood still for several hours, as the state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Tuesday, held a unification rally, which signified the end of all political differences among party faithful.
Nigerian Tribune recalls that the party, which administered the state for eight years, lost to the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), now All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2011 general election.
The rally, held at the state headquarters of the party, attracted members of the party, which included the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Dimeji Bankole; former governor, Chief Gbenga Daniel; national auditor, Alhaji Fatai Adeyanju; chairman, Mobilisation and Organisation of the party in the South-West, Prince Buruji Kashamu; state chairman, Mr Bayo Dayo; former Minister of State for Finance, Senator Jubril Martins-Kuye; Alhaji Sule Onabiyi and Senator Lekan Mustapha.
Others were former deputy governor, Alhaja Salmat Badru; former Ogun East senatorial chairman, Alhaji Agboola Alausa; zonal secretary, Chief Pegba Otemolu; Chief Femi Majekodunmi, Chief Joju Fadairo and former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Chief (Mrs) Titi Shodunke-Oseni.
Members of the House of Representatives, members of the State House of Assembly elected on the platform of the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) and the APC, who defected from their parties to PDP, were also present at the event.
Tagged “OGD unification rally,” chairman, Local Organising Committee of the rally, Fadairo, said it was a child of necessity, to inform the people of the state in particular and Nigeria in general that crisis in the state chapter of the party had subsided.
He said the simmering crisis cost the party misfortune, while advising party members to embrace peace and oneness, which, he said, would pave way for its return to power in 2015.
Fadairo, former state chairman of the party, said “God has done for us what we all thought could never happen. The inability of our party to manage our internal crisis in the build-up to the 2011 elections was responsible for the loss.
“PDP is a party with great endowments. We are now a better party to beat in 2015. We must now embark on a journey of patience, peace and endurance.”
The state chairman, Mr Dayo, in his address, welcomed the returnees, assuring that both the new and old members would enjoy equal rights.
He stressed that any returnee aspiring to contest any political office would be given automatic waiver.
“Our coming together today has put an end to all bickering among members. All members must remain united. PDP is a party of all without discrimination,” he said.
Also, the national auditor, Alhaji Adeyanju, who spoke on behalf of the national chairman, Dr Adamu Mu’azu, maintained that the unity rally showed an end to the APC reign in the state.
He said that the leadership of the party was confident that it would occupy the seat of government in the state next year.
Daniel, in his address, also corroborated that the rally had put skeptics wrong, adding that the success of the rally was an indication that the party had “taken over” the reins of power from the APC-led government in the state.
He chided the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led government, saying it had failed to place people’s welfare as priority.
Though he appreciated Amosun’s administration for constructing bridges and extending roads across the state, he argued that the all the yet-to-be completed projects by the administration would be completed by the PDP government.
“From today onward, PDP has taken over the reins of power in the state. The 2011 elections was not won by the people in power, but we lost due to internal crisis within the party. Today’s event has signified the end of crisis in our party.
“The present government in Ogun State is not a good government. This government says they are constructing bridges and extending roads. We thank God for the point at which they are now. We appreciate them for their effort, but it is certain that they cannot complete these projects. PDP government will complete and commission them by 2015,” Daniel added.
Buruji, in his address, promised that the party would ensure fairness, justice and sincerity in all its dealings.
“It is on this note that I want to join the leadership of the party in formally welcoming my brother and friend, Chief Daniel and his followers back to the PDP.
“I assure you all that the umbrella is big enough to accommodate all of us. We shall ensure fairness, justice and sincerity in all our dealings. I expect same from all of the stakeholders. The party belongs to us all,” he said.