Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, said on Thursday, that leaders and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will rally behind anyone whoever emerges the party’s presidential candidate after its presidential primaries.
According to him, all stakeholders in the party will support whoever God gives to the party and also work together to rescue Nigeria.
The governor stated this at the Presidential Lodge of the Oyo State Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, when Akwa Ibom State governor and presidential aspirant on the platform of the PDP, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, met with party delegates from the South-West geopolitical zone.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that the meeting was PDP’s way of strengthening internal democracy.
He said that the party has left the old order whereby delegates would be ignored by aspirants who would only seek godfathers’ endorsements.
The statement further indicated that the governor had earlier been screened by PDP Governorship Screening Committee for the South-West geopolitical zone.
The 7-member screening committee, headed by a former Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, had equally screened other PDP governorship aspirants across Oyo, Ogun and Lagos states, at the South-West PDP Zonal Office, Old Bodija, Ibadan.
Makarfi told newsmen shortly after the exercise that the process went smoothly, calling for unity among all the aspirants on the PDP platform.
Speaking at the Government House shortly after receiving the Akwa Ibom State governor, Makinde commended PDP leaders and delegates for strengthening democracy within the party and the country.
He said: “I want to recognise our leaders, elders and delegates of South West. This is just supposed to be a vote of thanks. So, I want to thank you for coming to strengthen internal democracy within our party and the country.
“I am saying this because this exercise is geared towards strengthening our internal democracy.
“Otherwise, if it were to follow the old order, you won’t even come to meet the delegates.
“You will go somewhere while some godfathers will endorse you and that will be all. But this is not the situation today.
“I really want to appreciate our leaders, delegates and everyone who has come in here. I can tell you that we have made a lot of sacrifices to get here. Even in Oyo State, the delegates from Irepo LGA would have travelled for 5 hours to get here.
“This is PDP and after we have chosen the flagbearer, we are also still going to work together to rescue Nigeria. “We will support whoever God has decided to give to us at this moment.
“The good thing here is, we have so many qualified individuals within the PDP. My brother, others will come and at the end of the day, I believe the will of God is going to be done for Nigeria, our country.”
While addressing the delegates, Emmanuel solicited the support of the delegates, noting that he has the capacity and the prerequisite knowledge to turn around the dwindling fortunes of the country.
He declared that the next Nigerian president should be capable of lifting its economy from the morass, adding that as a governor who has demonstrated capacity at the sub-national level, Nigerians should trust him to do well as president.
Udom, who described himself as a detribalised Nigeria, who is ready to unite Nigeria, said he will rescue and restore the lost glory of the country if elected as its next president.