Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Inter Party Affairs, Senator Ben Obi, has said the Peoples Democratic Party will win back the South-West states during the next general elections.
Obi spoke in Osogbo, Osun State capital on Saturday, during a civic reception in honour of three Osun indigenes – the National Secretary, PDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Executive Chairman, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, and a Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission, Chief Lere Oyewunmi – who got political and federal appointments.
Obi said Osun State would come under PDP leadership by 2014 when the state’s governorship election would hold.
Describing the PDP as the only national and largest party in Africa, the presidential aide said efforts must be coordinated to return the party to the helm of political affairs in the South-West.
Reiterating the commitment of the Federal Government to transformation in the electoral process, he stressed that elections in the country must continue to be free and fair.
Obi, who spoke in English and fluent Yoruba, said, “We must return the PDP to power in the South-West. PDP in Osun must work in one accord and deliver Osun in 2014.
Obi said, “The ship of PDP must berth safely in 2014 (in Osun). PDP is working towards reclaiming Osun. We will reclaim Oduduwa States. We need cooperation, dedication and commitment of members to do this.”
Minister of State for Defence, Mrs. Olusola Obada, said the PDP had what it takes to win the South-West states in the next general election stressing that the people of the region had seen the remarkable difference between the PDP and the incumbent governments.
Kwara State Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed faulted the call for regionalism by the Action Congress of Nigeria, saying that Nigeria’s strength lay in her unity and diversity.
Ahmed said the country must not be allowed to buckle under the weight of regional sentiments, stressing that the unity of the country must be protected at all times.
Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio, who was the chairman of the occasion, said the PDP would match vision with performance to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
Oyinlola condemned the criticisms levelled against the PDP-led Federal Government, describing the criticisms “as unpatriotic,” adding that “the journey to the restoration of the PDP in the South-West has commenced.”
But the National Publicity Secretary of ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described the PDP’s plan as a dream.
He said, “I think they just said that in order to be relevant. It’s just a pipe dream. For instance, what Aregbesola has done in Osun State in less than two years is more than what Oyinlola did in four and half years. It’s quite unthinkable that the people will prefer non-development to progress.
“In the next 50 years, as long as we continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people, we are going to remain in power.
“I challenge them to show us any PDP-controlled state that is performing better than any state controlled by our party. It is absolutely not possible for PDP to win any of the states controlled by us.”