A former South-West zonal chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George has said that the party may lose the 2023 presidential election if the ethnic and religious sentiments in the party continue.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, Bode George said the party should not expect votes from the southern population if it fails to address the feeling and grievances of ‘alienation’ being presently experienced by the region.
According to George, until the party returns to the founding fathers’ principles of unity, with equity, fairness and justice being the pedestal for any political decision and ensuring broad-mindedness to accommodate the concerns of all zones in this country, PDP becomes vulnerable to disaster in the 2023 elections.
He insisted that unless the party is united, with equity, fairness and justice, it may be fragmented before 2023.
“In May this year, we elected our presidential candidate in the person of HE Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, setting aside the principle of rotation as enshrined in the constitution of our party in the interest of peace and unity of our party. Today, we are in a situation in which our National Chairman is from the same zone as our presidential candidate.
“Some people are insisting that there is nothing wrong with this present arrangement. Some have argued that this happened during Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, where the candidate and the National Chairman were from the same zone.
“Let the truth be told, there are remarkable differences in the scenario then and now. Then we had the leader of the party who was then a sitting president from the South and the candidate was from the North.
“In addition, the National Chairman, Dr Ahmadu Ali, was then on his way out. Today we have no sitting President from our party in Aso Villa so that argument falls flat. We need to stop playing games and being zombified.”
George insisted that as a result of the need to have inclusiveness, oneness and togetherness, it does not make any political sense for the Presidential Candidate and the National Chairman to come from the same zone.