Dr. Adetokunbo Pearse, is the Lagos State Coordinator for Professor Tunde Adeniran, one of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairmanship aspirants. In this encounter, Dr. Pearse explains why Professor Adeniran, was best suited for the job.
Why are you supporting Prof. Tunde Adeniran for the chairmanship position?
I am supporting Prof. Tunde Adeniran to be the next National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because at this point in the history of the party, we need a leader who has prompt experience and most importantly, whose commitment to the party is unwavering. We also need a man who has integrity. And I think of all the people that are running for this office, he’s the most qualified and best equipped to lead us at this point.
Yes, Chief Bode George is very qualified. But in terms of integrity, he has not gotten it. I regard Chief Bode George as double agent in the party, PDP in the afternoon, APC at night. The reason I said that is because his better-half is today a DG in this administration. Getting promotion and getting protected within an APC government, something is wrong. Two, Bode George has never won any election in this state. And I can assure you, all the delegates are very unlikely to support him. I have contacted them and they have told me that much, that they are not likely to support Bode George, that they have serious problem with him. So he has not shown leadership. When we had councilors, about 18 of them after the 2012 election, Bode George refused to meet with them. It was myself with few leaders in the party who carried them along, you can interview some of them, they will tell you that when we had a case in court in 2012, Chief Bode George did not raise a finger to support any of those people who won, when we were in court. If he doesn’t drop before the convention, he will lose gallantly at the convention.
Sorry, are you not speaking this way because you have a personal grudge with Chief Bode George?
That is true. I have personal grudge with him, based on his impunity. He brought in somebody who is not a member of the party, someone who came into the party four months before election and made him a candidate. So, if you say I have a personal grudge, I agree.
Sentiments aside, do you see PDP getting it right at this point in time?
There is no crisis in PDP. As you can see, even as we get closer to the convention, it is appearing more and more clearer that this is going to be a South-West show and that is why we are talking about Chief Bode George, Gbenga Daniel and Prof. Tunde Adeniran, who is not only former minister of Education, but a former Ambassador and a founding member of the party. That speaks volume. I think the founding members are coming back because they now realise all the mistakes they made that tore the party apart. And one of it is bringing people who have integrity into position of leadership, and not those who have the record of dealing with people with impunity like Chief Bode George.
If somebody like Chief Bode George becomes the chairman of the party that is the end of the party. I will not leave the party, but will step aside and watch. I guarantee you, bring any person who is not a member of the party and you make him chairman within six months and you expect there will be peace in the party, there will be no peace in the party. These things are predictable. You bring in an outsider who is not a member of the party and he becomes gubernatorial candidate of the party, what happens? Party will break into two; one part went to Obanikoro, the other one went to Bode George. Everything went upside down.
In Lagos today, we see Chief Bode George as leader of the party, but with all the analysis you have brought forward, it is giving one an impression that PDP in Lagos State is not together, is that correct?
Yes, it is correct. Bode George is a factional leader of PDP in Lagos State and that is a reality.
So who is the other factional leader?
Of course you have Mrs. Aduke Maina. There are two Board of Trustee members in Lagos State. When we had a divide, Mrs. Maina went to Ali Modu Sheriff; Bode George went with Sen. Ahmed Makarfi. That division is still there because after the Supreme Court judgment, where the judgment was given in favour of Makarfi, one would have thought that Chief Bode George who was the leader of the Makarfi faction would have been magnanimous enough to call everybody together and settle the differences, but he never did. That is why I said he is a very bad leader. Till today, Bode George is only in control of about 30percent of PDP in Lagos. The reason he appeared to people outside Lagos to be the leader of the party is because of his national exposure; former this, former that and he is articulate, he can talk and talk.
But if you put all together what transpired over the years, what has he achieved in Lagos? Zero. Do you know that those House of reps members that we have, about six of them were all enemies of Bode George?
After they had won their primaries, Chief Bode George went to Abuja and tried to change the names of those who had won the primaries. The fight between them started there. So, when you say we have personal grudge, I have personal grudge and these are the reasons. Anybody that want to undermine my ability to win, to be successful in my endeavour after all the sweat, all the time, money and energy spent to win election so that we can have a strong and viable party, so that we can provide for the people a quality life, that person is my enemy and enemy of people. That is how I regard a man like him.
On the contrary, we have a man, Prof. Tunde Adeniran not only that he has the same level of experience if not more; he was the Chairman of Presidential Inauguration Committee in 1999. So, he has been there at the highest level, he has the support at higher level. You need to see the level of support he got from all over the country when his campaign was launched in Abuja. If this was election in Lagos State, Chief Bode George cannot win. His time is over. People like him can no longer be leader of our party.