A former commissioner in Oyo State, Professor Taoheed Adedoja, has expressed optimism that some former members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who left the party will soon rejoin.
According to Adedoja, who was also a Minister of Sports, ”Oyo State PDP presently is trying to come together on a common front and if you recall, there was a meeting last Wednesday of stakeholders in Oyo State at Wadata Plaza (PDP national secretariat). From the feelers we got from the meeting, there was a way forward in terms of coming together to form a cohesive party. And I think we are on the way to that and that is a prelude to what the national secretariat is doing. I think we are on the way.”
Adedoja, a former provost of the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, said that he is confident the duo of former governors Rashidi Ladoja and Adebayo Alao-Akala will return to the PDP, adding that ”naturally, if there’s a meeting and somebody sends a representative, the body language is there, there is a signal that the person is interested in this thing, the overtures being made and also attaches seriousness to it. Also, remember that these two persons are not being wooed to come and join the party. The party is wooing them to come back to join the family they belong to. So, there is that thing that you know is right. And I believe that they will consider the move. But all I know personally is that if such a thing is happening, it shouldn’t be given too much prominence as it is because it is under discussion. Remember these people belong to their parties and the party is wooing them at the same time. The parties they are in are also saying they want them to remain. At the end of the day, I am sure they will take the right decision. And I believe strongly that the right decision will be for them to come back to the fold that they belong to.”
On how the party is going to manage the kind of crisis that led to their exit, he answered: “Remember some of the challenges that the party had were the issue of impunity, the issue of injustice, was the issue of imposition of candidates and I believe that with the (Ahmed) Makarfi’s caretaker committee, that is the kind of repositioning it is working on, that is the kind of repositioning that the party aims at in the next convention of the party. I strongly believe that we have learnt our lesson and that lesson is that if we do anything that is contrary to the constitution of the party, if we do anything that is contrary to the wishes of the people, the wishes of members of the party, the forefathers of the party, those that built the party from when the party was established, then we are in for it.
“And you know when you are beaten twice, then you learn a lesson. It is not just once beaten, this is twice beaten. And twice beaten? I think that is serious enough for the party to have learnt a lesson. And I believe that at the next national convention of the party, there is going to be a level playing ground for all contestants for any of the executive positions in the party. I strongly believe that we look forward to our convention that everybody will exercise his or her right to vote, his or her right to contest for any election that he or she desires.
“Overtures are being made to them and they are considering the overtures and that is what the stage is. By the time they made up their minds, they a going to make it public for Nigerians to know.
“Their leaving the party was not a mistake at all. Remember politics is about circumstances, it is about circumstances of that time. New circumstances will dictate their coming back and when they do, they will now re-examine their positions in terms of membership of the party. I want you to know that joining a party, building a party is not necessarily about personal ambition. It’s about serving the people through a platform. Once you want to serve the people through a platform, then the situation that time will determine what positions you will key into. And I think that’s exactly what is happening about their case. It’s not a question of they being angry and leaving the party, but the circumstances at that time, compelled them to do so.
“PDP has been a cohesive, united, one strong party in this country, but like I said, mistakes were made, we are trying to correct the mistakes. PDP will come out stronger than when it went into the crisis. You can see the clamor for people who left the party wanting to come back into the party and that is going to make it an even more cohesive party than the pre-crisis period,” he explained.