Wike/Atiku Imbroglio: Bode George Urges Lamido, PDP Elders To Learn From Lar, Ekwueme, Bola Ige, Others

Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode Ibiyinka George, has advised former Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido, and other elders of the party to learn from the pacifist nature of founding fathers of the party because ‘a divided house is a defeated house”.

George, the Atona Oodua of Yorubaland, was reacting to statements credited to Lamido who took a swipe at Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State over his (Wike’s) belligerent attitude towards the presidential candidate of the party for the February 25, 2023 election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Lamido, also a former Foreign Affairs Minister, described Wike as ‘an emperor’ who wants things done his way every time.

He said just because Wike lost the presidential ticket to Atiku does not mean he (Wike) “should bring the roof down”But, George, former Governor of old Ondo State from 1987 to 1990, said as one of the founding fathers of the party in 1998, he would ensure the party goes into the 2023 general elections united.

Citing the roles played by some founding fathers, such as Chief Solomon Lar, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Chief Bola Ige (who wrote the constitution of the party), Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, Chief Sunday Awoniyi and others who did not allow personal interests to overshadow the collective interests of the party, George called on Lamido and others to eschew bitterness “because two wrongs don’t make a right”.

“All these elders, who are late today, were never fixated on their needs or selfish interests. They were patriotic. It is because of their patriotism and sacrifice that PDP remains a very strong brand today.

“So, I call on party leaders, elders and members to please look at the overall interest of PDP. The fact that someone has, knowingly or unknowingly, done something unjust or dishonest is no justification for personal attack or acting in a similar way.

“The APC has completely messed up the country and Nigerians are waiting for PDP in 2023. So, PDP members should not be seen as enemies of the party and the country. Enough of direct attacks. We should not exacerbate the crisis by embarking on personal attacks.

“Before you realise what is going on, some enemies of our party will turn it to a North verses South issue. We should avoid that at all cost. If there are issues, what we need to do is to sit and discuss.

“If anybody is aggrieved, we need to pacify him. If Governor Wike feels shortchanged due to the outcome of the primary where Alhaji Atiku Abubakar emerged as our presidential flagbearer, then, we need to beg him. We need his vote and votes of Rivers people.

“Whether we like it or not, Governor Wike is an asset in this party. We should not do or say anything that will alienate him from the fold. Political opponents are already strategising on how to snatch him from our party but I can assure Nigerians that Governor Wike is not leaving PDP.

“What is important now is how to resolve the National Chairmanship issue before the election. This is an important matter that cannot be brushed aside. We need to resolve this matter before the presidential election. We must all agree on this.

“But, this is the time for all of us to cease fireworks. We must not enter the election divided. We must do everything to ensure that we win the election and there is no way we can win if we are not united.

“I am one of the custodians of the party. As a life member of the Board of Trustees (BOT) which is the Upper Chamber and conscience of the party, it is our inalienable right to ensure that all wrongs are settled. We also have the maturity, experience and exposure to knock everybody back in line.

“I am sounding it, loud and clear, that what is going on now should get us worried. What we need is inclusiveness. We should not exclude anybody.

“We should also avoid a repeat of the pitfall of the past. As presidential campaign starts next month (September), what we need to do now is to imbibe the spirit of give and take, in the interest of all”.

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