I find it particularly expedient to write you at this auspicious time, especially about our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (POP) as it begins its journey towards recreating itself, finding a new identity, reclaiming its lost glory and salvaging the ship of the Nigerian State. It is equally important to note that Nigerians are once again ready to change the ‘change’.
(2.1) WHERE WE WERE;
I humbly recall with nostalgia, my journey with this great party, Peoples Democratic Party which I joined in the year 2001, precisely 9th September of that year. I came in with pomp and pageantry, having lots of hopes for the growth and development of the Nigerian nation. It is that same POP, by the special grace of God, with the support of most of you; leaders, elders and the goodwill of members and stakeholders of the party, that gave me the opportunity to serve the people of Ogun State in the highest capacity as the Chief Executive Officer and Governor between 2003 and 2011.
I am also proud to say that our great party, Peoples Democratic Party was and still remain the greatest political party, not only in Nigeria, but in the entire continent of Africa. We were one big happy family, representing the greatest hopes and aspirations of Nigerians.
The slogan ‘Power to the People’ was not just another political catchphrase but one that portrays our ideology that, beyond the distractions of public offices and class differences, the ultimate authority of governance does not rest in the hands of the rulers but the ruled, that the welfare that of any party or political office holder. These were the foundations on which the founding fathers built this party and these were the principles that motivated me to join the party.
It is also instructive to note, that it is on this same foundation and noble ideals, that the Peoples Democratic Party won most of the elections overwhelmingly.
(2.2) WHERE WE ARE;
Since 2011 however, when our party lost some of the states under its control especially in the South West, the Peoples Democratic Party has suffered huge loss in public perception ratings. It’s political capital waned and the party lost the confidence of many of its founding fathers.
This was further accentuated by the squabbles in the build up to the 2015 general elections, part 01 which led to the withdrawal of five governors elected on the platform of the PDP who thereafter joined opposition party. We have consistently been overwhelmed by the struggle for leadership positions, not only in many states of the federation, but even at the national level of the party.
A party which was hitherto governed by the ethos and administered by internal conflict management mechanism based on equity, fairness, transparency, and democracy became susceptible to factors that undermines political growth and development.
(2.3) WHERE WE SHOULD BE;
The expanded National Caucus of our Party, at its last meeting in Abuja has zoned the position of the National Chairman to the South. The election into this office and that of other members of the National Working Committee is billed to hold during the National Convention which comes up on December 9, 2017 in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. Based on the challenges – I tterrused above, that calls for urgent and decisive intervention, I, Otunba ‘(Engr) Gbenga “Daniel, FNSE, FAEng formally intimate you of my intention to run for the post of National Chairman of our great party and at the same time appeal to all our party members through you in this regard for support.
3. I believe that having been privileged to serve as the Governor of Ogun State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party for 8 years, durlnq which we ran an Administration that has been widely acclaimed as enviable, I am eminently qualified for this position.
Perhaps it is important to state here, that PDP won and controlled 99.5 percent of all elective posts in Ogun State in 2003 and 100 per\cent in 2007 under my watch. Furthermore, one of the first ultra-modern permanent party secretariat in the country was built during my administration, which was a sign of my commitment to an efficient party structure and growth.
4. In recent times, I have been working with others to reconcile all our Party members in our various State chapters in the South West. One of my objective as the National Chairman is to bring back many of our leaders who may have left our party and encourage those who may for one reason or the other, have been indifferent to become active political actors on the platform of the party again. My ultimate goal is to work towards the victory of our party in the 2019 general elections and in all other elections in between. To achieve this, I am prepared to work with all leaders of our party, various interest groups and individuals.
Distinguished leader of our great party, in the next few months, you will be entrusted with the power to decide its future and that of the younger generations who have stood firm with us against all odds. The young men and women who look up to us, expect us not only to take the best decision, informed by good conscience, but one which will also usher in distinct leadership capable of taking us out of the challenges that undermined this great movement called PDP. For their sake, we must rise.
It is time for us to start afresh, and I strongly believe, that with your support, we will do it.
God bless the Peoples Democratic Party! God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!
His Exc., Otunba (Engr.) Gbenga Daniel, FNSE, FAEng, Former Governor, Ogun State, Otunba Obalofin of Ijebuland, Arole of Remoland, Fesojoye of Ife, Enye di Onrama of Ndigbo.