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We deserve more than SGF, Southwest PDP tells Atiku



We deserve more than SGF, Southwest PDP tells Atiku

The South-West Zone of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has said the zone deserves more than the position of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) conceeded to it by the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku.

The party in the zone asked Atiku to give more key positions to the zone if he emerges as president.

The Vice Chairman of the party in South-West, Dr Eddy Olefeso, made the demand in Lagos on Friday night, at a meeting of key members across the six states in the zone.

The meeting had in attendance a former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George, the current Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Yemi Akinwonmi and a former National Vice Chairman of the party, Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo.

Also present were former Minister of State for Defence, Mrs Sola Obada, a former Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Alhaja Makanjuola Badru, and a member of the National Assembly, Sen. Abiodun Olujimi.

Others are the party’s governorship candidate in Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, the governorship candidate in Ogun, Mr Ladi Adebutu and a former governorship aspirant in Osun State, Chief Akin Ogunbiyi.

Speaking at the meeting, Olafeso said though the promise of SGF slot by Atiku was a good development, the zone deserved more key political and government positions.

Claiming that the zone had been schemed out in the power arrangement of the party for the past few years, Olafeso insisted that for Atiku to give the zone a sense of belonging and compensate “for the years of abandonment”, he should zone key positions of the Chief of Staff to the President and Àttorney-General of the Federation to the South-West in addition to the SGF.

He noted that the South-West had the second highest voting population in the country, he vowed that the zone would demand its fair share of political positions if PDP wins in 2019.

“We have been denied for too long. In 2011, the country under the control of our party zoned the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives to the zone and it was taken away.

“And from 2011 to 2015, we were left just like that and the reverberating effect of that abandonment is the reason why we are still having the hangover of neglect till today.

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“Now we are here again, the party is working with a zone with 14million votes, the second largest in the country. We refuse and we will not accept where we finish the job in the next election and for one reason or the other, we will not be considered.

“We don’t have to wait till after the election before we say what we want. We want to let the party and our candidate know that certain positions are strategic to governance and we want them.

“Yes, the SGF is great, but there is nothing wrong with having the Chief of Staff and Attorney-General on top of it to compensate us for the denials of the past, so that all of us can work as a united front.

“We will continue to fight for it, we will speak with a loud voice. We give so much, so the zone deserves a lot,” he said.

Olafeso, who congratulated Atiku on his emergence as the party’s presidential candidate, said the zone was pleased with the choice of former Governor Peter Obi as his running mate.

He said the country was faced with serious economic challenges, and Obi had the pedigree that could realise the party’s economic vision for Nigeria.

Olafeso also revealed that the zone was concerned about the travails of former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over a case, just as he called on members of the party to stand with Fayose at his trying moment.

According to him, the former governor was paying for being truthful and standing against injustice.

“I was in the court the last time and I am glad to tell you that he has been granted bail.

“We will do our best to ensure that he perfects his bail conditions and he is released soon,” he said.


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