By Bolaji Buhari
A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Adeseye Ogunlewe, on Monday commended the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for promising to give the South-West the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) slot, if elected.
Ogunlewe, a former Minister of Works, gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Director-General of the Atiku Campaign Organisation (ACO), Chief Gbenga Daniel, had revealed Atiku’s SGF plan to newsmen on Sunday in Lagos.
The South-West is at present not yet visible in PDP’s power equation for 2019 as the presidential candidate is from the North-East, while his running-mate, a former Anambra State governor, Mr Peter Obi, is from the South-East.
Also, the National Chairman of the party, Chief Uche Secondus, is from the South-South.
Among present top government officials who are members of the party, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, are from North-Central and North-East respectively.
Ogunlewe said PDP leaders in the South-West were satisfied with the promised slot, as the SGF is the fulcrum of government.
“We thank our presidential candidate for the promised SGF slot. We are very satisfied with it and we are happy about it.
“You see, the office of the SGF is not just another office. It is the fulcrum of any government; it is the engine room. So, for our candidate to have promised the region the office, it means he holds us in high esteem.
“The promise is a just and fair move, we are impressed and we are pledging our total support to Atiku Abubakar to emerge as our president next year,” he said.
Ogunlewe said the selection Obi as Atiku’s running mate was fair and strategic, as it would guarantee an Igbo presidency after Atiku, if PDP wins.
The former minister argued that the people of the South-East had contributed significantly to the development of the country, saying it was only fair they be allowed to produce a president soon.
Ogunlewe said apart from the SGF slot, the South-West PDP was particularly glad by Atiku’s promise to restructure the country.
The former minister said restructuring was the panacea to the avalanche of challenges facing the country, as it would empower federating units and institutions to function optimally for development.
Ogunlewe said the All Progressives Congress had failed to deliver on their electoral promises to make the country better for citizens.
He said the PDP had been rejuvenated and expressed the confidence that Atiku would win the presidential election.
The former minister also boasted that the PDP governorship candidate in Lagos, Mr Jimi Agbaje, would win the state for the party in 2019 .
“We are going to win in Lagos in 2019.We are going to set the state free from APC ; we have a candidate who can do it. Agbaje is a man of vision and he will deliver.
“He is a true indigene of Lagos with the interest of the people at heart. The people of Lagos want him and we are so confident it will be victory for the PDP in 2019,” he said.