By Michael Jegede, Abuja
One of the leading contenders for the office of National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prof. Tunde Adeniran, has said that his academic background and vast experience in politics place him in a better position to pilot the affairs of the party to greater heights.
Adeniran, a professor of political science and former Minister of Education, stated this in an interview ahead of the December 9, 2017 national convention of the PDP where new national officers are expected to be elected by the party.
“All my brother aspirants for the National Chairmanship parade impressive credentials. They are great patriots and well-respected members of our great party. They have individually made remarkable contributions to the growth of the party and to national development generally. But at the risk of sounding immodest, I can confidently aver that there is no one in the race that has the pedigree, capacity and the kind of experience that I have. The truth is that none of them is as sufficiently equipped as I am to lead the PDP at this critical phase of its life. The reason for the foregoing assertion is simple. I am the only candidate that has the cutting-edge academic training and background in the art and science of political engineering and strategic management; I am the only one that has the uncommon pedigree of having been involved in the founding of three major political parties in three republics; I am the only one who was there at the very beginning and the formation of the party as a founding member and the Convener, PDP South-West. The PDP started in my house in Ibadan in 1998 before it went on to be entrenched in the other states of the zone. Specifically speaking, it was me who the late uncle Bola Ige handed the flag of the party at inauguration in Abuja with the express mandate to take the party to the South-West,” Adeniran said.
The PDP chieftain added: “Considering all the strategic beats where I have served, it is safe for me to say, with all humility that the kind of exposure and experience that I have through years of unblemished service to the party and the nation is unparalleled. It is also important to emphasize the apparent good public perception about my suitability for the job nationally, as well as the general acceptability that my candidature enjoys across all organs and structure of the party. Incidentally I have shown more commitment, steadfastness and constancy than any one else even when I have suffered the sort of provocation that made many quit the party. All of that is what stands me out as the best of the pack!”
Explaining what informed his aspiration to be the national chairman of PDP, the one-time Nigerian Ambassador to German, said: “It is generally agreed that the PDP derailed from its founding principles, vision and mission. It is based on that consciousness that I am greatly inspired to step in to help restore the party back on track by fixing the problems, giving it a new lease of life by providing political and moral leadership, and to lead in the task of making the PDP become the nation’s ruling party by 2019, and, in practical terms, to build an egalitarian and inclusive Nigerian society for all and make our country truly great again.
“In robust concert with other members of the NWC (National Working Committee), leaders and all well-meaning members of the party across board, we will work assiduously with a sense of purpose to re-affirm (and entrench) the founding principles of our great party, rejuvenate and return it to its original position of strength; remove the inimical culture of impunity and subversion of the will of the people, restore the sanctity of internal democracy and rule of law, engender equity, fairness, reconcile and reconnect the party with the people by taking power back to them in the true sense of the word, spirit and intent of our slogan- ‘power to the people’, and strengthen the capacity of the party where and when it is in power to provide good governance, give qualitative life to Nigerians and make the party to be a beacon of democracy for our people. That is why I want to become the National Chairman of the PDP.”
In his advice to the party delegates who are the ones to determine the fate of the aspirants for all the offices to be contested for, Adeniran remarked: “They (party delegates) should be concerned with the true interest of the Party and vote for candidates who have capacity and good pedigree. Credible leadership is a sine qua non to rebuild and reposition the party. Delegates should bear in mind that the PDP is not for sale. If they exchange their votes for money, then they have sold the party. Doing that will certainly have calamitous consequences for the party.”