The Yoruba Alliance Group has lent its voice to the search of a running mate for People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abuabakar, at the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
In an e-mailed statement to The Trent on Thursday, October 11, 2018, the group declared that a former minister of aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode would perfectly fit the bill of a vice presidential candidate because among other factors his “loyalty, dedication and commitment to the party are incontestable. He has been in the war zone with Governors Ayo Fayose and Nyesom Wike fighting for the soul of the party against the APC-controlled Federal Government at the risk to his life and property”.
Below is the full statement:
“The Yoruba Alliance Group congratulates the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on the successful presidential primary held in Port-Harcourt. We are glad that against all odds, the party came out stronger and more united than it went into the Convention.
“We commend all who contested for the PDP presidential candidacy for their maturity and dedication to the party after the primary. It also gladdens our hearts that some of them have been given the opportunity to contest in the 2019 general at other levels. Unarguably, any of them could defeat the incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari any time, any day, given the current dire situation of the country.
“We want to use this opportunity to urge them all to work together with the Standard Bearer of the party for success and victory at the presidential poll ahead.
“We are not unaware of the pressure being mounted on the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and the leadership of the party on whom to choose as running mate.
“A critical study of the political reality shows that the leadership of the PDP and Alhaji Atiku should zone the running mate position to the Southwest for so many reasons that space would not allow us to state them all.
“However, one of the most pressing reasons is to break the seemingly domination of APC in the southwest zone in favour of PDP. The second is that since President Buhari hails from the northwest, with its voting strength, fairness requires for the number two slot to be zoned to the southwest that ranks second to the northwest. Fortunately, the south-south is holding the Chairmanship of the party while the southeast takes the Speakership for now since it is looking most likely that the senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki might retain his seat even in the next dispensation.
“In the Southwest, we have capable hands who can complement the qualities of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as president: Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, Dr Olusegun Mimiko (who is no longer with the party), and a host of technocrats like Prof Akinwunmi Adesina of the African Development Bank (ADB).
“After much analysis and following the clamour of our people, we find the former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode worthy of being Atiku’s running mate going into the presidential election next year, and our reasons are so obvious:
1. Chief Fani-Kayode was an achiever as the Minister of Aviation under President Olusegun Obasanjo. As minister, God used him to stop the air disaster that had become the order of the day prior to his appointment.
2. The two-time ministaer played prominent roles as the Spokesman for the 2015 PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation when he successfully restored glory to the party whose image had been battered in the media before his appointment.
3. He defected to the opposition in protest against the failure of the PDP leadership to rise up in his defence but saw himself rather as being persecuted by the PDP-controlled Federal Government until the courts discharged and acquitted him seven years later.
4. Chief Fani-Kayode returned to the party the moment he discovered that the APC was planning to impose a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket which could have thrown the country into confusion and crisis.
5. Since he returned to the party, Chief Fani-Kayode’s loyalty, dedication and commitment to it are incontestable. He has been in the war zone with Governor Ayo Fayose and Governor Nyesom Wike fighting for the party against the APC controlled Federal Government at a risk to his life and property.
6. Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has been the voice to the voiceless especially for the victims of the ongoing genocide in the northcentral part of the country and that unleashed against IPOB. This has endeared him to the hearts of many in those volatile areas and among the Nigerian Christians whom he has been consistently defending unsolicited. He is one of the few who has been consistently been speaking for those who are being detained unjustly, especially, Col Sambo Dasuki and El Zakzaki. The implication of this is that his followers cut across all shades and divides.
7. Chief Fani-Kayode is bold, courageous, patriotic, outspoken, articulate, intelligent and dedicated to duty and all these qualities are needed in the battle ahead to rescue Nigeria and place her back on the path of progress and prosperity.
Lastly, We are using this forum to strongly implore the leadership of the PDP and their Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to adopt Chief Femi Fani-Kayode as the running mate of the party and this step will go a long way to win for the party more votes from across the land.