*Bode George, others absent
Leaders of the People’s Democracy Party (PDP) in the South West, Sunday, met at Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State without the presence of those belonging to the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party.
Those present at the meeting, held at the headquarters of Omo-Ilu Foundation, founded by Senator Buruji Kashamu were the South West zonal Chairman, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe, former Senate President, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu, Alli Modu Sheriff and Dr. Cairo Ojugbo.
Others were acting national publicity secretary, Hon. Bernard Niko, former FCT Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Abba Gana, Senator Chris Anyanwu.
They all passed a vote of confidence on Modu Sheriff.
But conspicuously absent were Governor Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo) and his Ekiti counterpart, Ayo Fayose as well as former deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Bode George and others belonging to the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party.
Rising from the meeting, the leaders present acknowledged and affirmed the leadership of the party under Senator Alli Modu-Sheriff and his efforts to reposition it.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting, urged all party members to do away with their selfish interest and join hands to move the party forward and “put it in good stead for the task ahead”.
The communique, read by Ogundipe also pleaded with party members to pray for the quick recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari in order to continue his anti-corruption crusade.
In his remark, Senator Alli-Modu Sheriff pledged to work for the progress of the party and return it to the grassroots.
Sheriff, who stated that he would not be provoked by the Chairman of the party’s Strategy Review Committee, Prof. Jerry Gana, said he would stand in the way of any individual who wants to corner the party for selfish reasons.
In his keynote address, Mantu, attributed the crisis rocking the party to lack of internal democracy, imposition of candidates and impunity of some individuals within PDP.
Mantu, who is the deputy Chairman of party’s Reconciliation Committee , hinted that the party “bungled” the goodwill it enjoyed for 16 years by allowing internal wrangling to fester and urged leaders of the party to shelve personal interests and work towards mending the cracks in the party.
He, however, disclosed that the party had learnt its lessons, disclosing that machinery had been put in place to address the problems bedeviling the party with a view to restore its lost glory.
“The national leadership is doing its very best to rebrand and reposition our party positively before the Nigerian public in readiness for 2019. In spite of the crack in the family, the leadership is moving steadily in the right direction -encouraging mass participation of members in the activities of the party, thereby giving them sense of belonging”. Mantu stated.
He, therefore, reiterated that leaders and members of the party must come together to settle their differences if PDP is serious of taking over from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019.
“All hands must be on deck to ensure total victory in the entire South West and Nigeria in 2019. The tongue and the teeth live inside the mouth and they do sometimes clash but none vacates the mouth for the other. We must therefore not allow seeming differences affect our victory at the polls.
“Our detractors had expected the crack in the family to be the beginning of our end. Tell them that the lion was just sleeping in order to conserve more energy and make a minced meat of them in 2019. No matter how much weight an elephant loses, it can never be compared to a cow,” he added.