Ayodele Fayose, the Ekiti State Governor and Peoples Democratic Party presidential hopeful, has urged the party in the South West to forge a common front and present a single candidate for the national chairmanship position.
Fayose said going to the national convention in disunity will not serve the collective interest of the party in the South West zone.
The Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, quoted Fayose as making this call on Monday in Lagos when he held a closed-door meeting with the PDP national chairmanship aspirants.
The meeting was attended by former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George; former Oyo State Governor, Senator Rasheed Ladoja; former Minister of Communications, Chief Dapo Sarumi; and former PDP National Chairman (South-West), Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo
Former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, sent his apology.
The meeting, which commenced around 9pm immediately after the arrival of Chief George, who was accompanied by Chief Sarumi, among others, lasted for over one hour.
Governor Fayose, who addressed newsmen after the meeting, said he was desirous of having the PDP in the South West go to the convention as a united and indivisible entity as it could not afford to go into the exercise as a divided entity.
The governor said: “It will be difficult for me to be going around soliciting support for all the chairmanship aspirants.
“It is when we are able to present one common aspirant that I can be able to stand behind such aspirant and campaign round the country.
“Going to the convention without cohesion would not speak well of the South West zone and the purpose of today’s meeting is to start a process of achieving a common front.”
Fayose, however, said those at the meeting agreed that it should be an ongoing exercise and an all inclusive one where all stakeholders would be invited.
Also speaking, Oladipo described Fayose as the rallying point for the party in the South West being the only PDP governor and the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum in the country.
He said: “He is a rallying point to make our position in the South West PDP known in the coming convention.
“We endorse the calling of the meeting with all stakeholders in attendance before the convention.
“It is our privilege to have him as our governor and other stakeholders would be joining us before the convention.”
On his part, Ladoja, who said he had now become a full-fledged PDP member having obtained his party membership card, disclosed that he would publicly declare his chairmanship ambition by the end of the week.
George, in his remark, expressed support for the meeting, saying: “I also endorse the meeting and it shows that all hope is lost.”
He said it should be clear that the South West PDP was not a rudderless ship, adding that at the end of the day, the intervention by Fayose would be a welcome development that would gladden the heart of members.