Some PDP stakeholders in the South West seem unhappy over the manner in which the presidential campaign of the party is being conducted, Daily Trust has learnt. There is currently a feeling of alienation among some chieftains in the zone who believe they were not being carried along in the Atiku campaign.
The stakeholders pointed at the visit of Atiku to Lagos last Monday for a town hall meeting with youth, saying the outing took place without notice.
Daily Trust reports that the youth town hall meeting which held at Welcome Centre Hotel along Airport road, in Lagos, was attended by the PDP chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and other members of the National Working Committee (NWC), while the leadership of the PDP in Lagos was conspicuously absent.
The PDP leader in Lagos State, Chief Olabode George, was also absent at the meeting.
Chief George, a former PDP National Deputy Chairman, who recently convened a colloquium where ex-vice president Atiku Abubakar was endorsed as the candidate for the South-West amidst controversy, told journalists that he actually got notice of Atiku’s visit last Sunday, a day to the visit.
He said he felt that was strange, adding, “I have refused to speak with anyone because I don’t know what’s going on.”
He advised party members to shun pettiness, acrimony and rancour to focus on the big battle ahead, recalling that, that was how some party members deceived former President Goodluck Jonathan into believing they were going to work for him.
However, the Deputy Chairman, South West, Dr. Eddy Olafeso in a chat with our correspondent, insised the PDP was stable in the zone.
According to him, the town hall meeting held in Lagos was meant for the youths and it was well attended by stakeholders including the South West coordinator of the campaign. “So it is not true that some party members are sidelined,” said.
There were speculations that some PDP leaders actually stayed away from the meeting because the notice was too short and they felt they were not carried along.
The current developments regarding the PDP presidential campaign are creating disquiet in the zone and Lagos in particular, according to many sources that spoke with Daily Trust yesterday.
One of the sources said it was clear the campaign machinery had been hijacked by some clique to the detriment of the party and the candidate as the February 2019 election drew nearer.
The source said, “You don’t run a campaign this way, by alienating the people who are expected to work for you. The South-West is very critical in any presidential election and we have to plan adequately well by involving those who have the experience, the clout and the contact to galvanise voters in the zone.”
Another source told Daily Trust that the feeling of discontent was the fallout of the perennial division within the party in the zone and Lagos in particular.
It was learnt that the division might also take its toll on the campaign of the PDP candidate in the state, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, who is believed to have been running it like a one-man show since he emerged as candidate.
He also kicked off his campaign with a press conference three weeks ago and since then virtually nothing was happening.
Another PDP chieftain, however, told our correspondent that the perceived errors would be corrected as the campaign took shape, saying, “We have ample time to correct what you are talking about and everybody would be given a role to play in the campaign.”