A former national vice-chairman (southwest) of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olabode George has reacted to the departure of a presidential aspirant, Peter Obi, from the party ahead of its primaries.
Obi, a former governor of Anambra and running mate to Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 presidential election, in a letter dated May 24, 2022, and addressed to the national chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, resigned from the party and withdrew from the presidential race.
Olabode during Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday said he was taken aback by the news of Obi leaving PDP.
George said he was not happy about Obi’s decision and that he shouldn’t expect to win every time.
He said, “Once that news broke, I was taken aback because Obi Peter has established himself as a respectable and responsible, gentleman; very resourceful both in human resources and other endeavours of life.
“But for him to have dumped the PDP, I don’t know why he did that, it’s a pity that he actually dumped the party.
“Life is full of imponderables; you can’t win it all the time and Nigeria is still developing.
“I’m not very happy but maybe he has another plan, I don’t know why. I have a lot of regard and respect for him and every presidential aspirant in our party that came to Lagos to lobby delegates.”
He said it is very important for the PDP to present a candidate that does not have a filthy record for the presidential election.
“I was particularly very happy with every one of them (aspirants) but who will win? I’m not a soothsayer, and I don’t hold a crystal ball. May the best win but the most important is whoever we present to the Nigerian public must be somebody that has character, that has a high track record of responsibility, not somebody that has filthy things in his closet because the public office is a public trust,” he said.
He further appealed to Nigerians to stop comparing the country’s democracy to that of the United States of America which is over 200 years old while Nigeria is still a developing country.
He said, “My appeal to everyone in this country, don’t think that, yes don’t think that Nigeria is America yet. America is over 200 years old; even there, democracy is not perfect.
“We are still like a toddler when we talk about democratic dispensation, so it will take time, and democratic practice is not a 100 metre-dash, it is continuous. You win some, you lose some but the most important thing is after an election, there will be a post-mortem analysis during which the failures and drawbacks will be looked at and we make amends for us to start growing.”