Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Bode George, on Friday, disclosed that he will be stepping down from leading the party in Lagos State after the 2023 general elections.
George, who charged members of the party in Lagos to close ranks and eschew politics of bitterness ahead of the next general elections, said: “Our party must return sanity, truth, justice, predictability, fairness and equitable balance to our nation. That is our ultimate burden. That is our template of a new dawn.”
On his decision to quit leadership position after 2023, he said: “I was discussing with my first child and he told me after my surgery that they will need me more now. I am 76 years now, I spent 25 years in the Navy and 25 years in politics. I said I will remove myself from partisan politics. I will be like an elder statesman but I will not be involved in partisan politics because by that time, I will be 78. Generals don’t retire, they only fade away. I was 42 when I became governor of old Ondo State.
I will no longer be in the forefront, another fellow will emerge.
He also urged the newly elected party executives to ensure equity, fairness and transparency.
In his speech titled: ‘Peoples Democratic Party: A new beginning, the PDP leader said: “The convention of our great party which was held barely a week ago in Abuja has demonstrated so vividly the great possibilities that the People’s Democratic Party is indeed the party that can break and remove the various afflictions presently halting our democratic process.
“The Convention was a celebration of peace and goodwill. It was one sweeping carnival, full of celebration and gaiety. There was no rancor, no violence, no ill will. And that is the way it should be.
I congratulate all the newly elected officers who will manage the affairs of our party for the next four years. From Senator lyorchia Ayu to every member of the National Working Committee, I salute you all for your dedication, for your vision and selfless pursuit to reposition our party to its winning ways. I equally congratulate the selflessness of all our governors and leaders who ensured the necessary cordiality and efficiency that resulted in the successful fruition of the convention.
“You are all now the new brave men and women who are now given the privilege and mandate to re-strategize, to restructure, to overhaul and to re build the party as one giant behemoth that will champion and lead our nation towards a peaceful, unified, indivisible, democratic journey.
“It will not be an easy task. Look around you. The nation is distempered in factional largeness. “There are divisions everywhere. Bandits and no-gooders roam freely in all corners of our nation.
“From the Savannah to the Atlantic, from the Delta to the hills and the forests dark arbiters of ruin and destruction freely plow their dirty trade, sowing discord and destruction everywhere.
“These dark avatars are not interested in the unity of our nation. These evil avatars are indifferent to the happiness of our people. They want to drag us all down towards the grim slope of perdition.
They must be stopped. They must be halted. They must be confronted with the superiority of our own bright vision.
“The recent invasion of the home of Justice Ukeago Odili of the Supreme Court of Nigeria by yet unknown agents of destabilization is a testimony to the fact that no one in our nation is safe anymore. It is a testimony about our state of aberration and uncertainties.This should not be the case in an enlightened democratic setting. “Justice Odili is the second in hierarchy of our Supreme Court. The sanctity of her abode or anybody else for that matter should never be violated.
Our party must return sanity, truth, justice, predictability, fairness and equitable balance to our nation. That is our ultimate burden. That is our template of a new dawn. That is our primary focus of renewal and a rebirth. Our nation needs peace.
We must demonstrate to the Nigerian people that we can steer them to a more redeeming course. We must show to the electorate that there is a better way to lead our people to a greater good.
We must never be detained by the ills of the past. We must never be held back by the encumbrances of ancient feuds.”
Besides, he said: “Our nation is full of the best and the brightest across this God blessed geo political space. We must encourage and cultivate the best of talents to rescue our nation from the present abyss. Let us shun ethnic or sectarian divisions. Partisan differences must never degenerate to the dark recourse to malice and hatred.
“Let us return to the path of brotherhood and peaceful co-existence. Let us embrace civility and the liberating light of science. It is a welcome delight that our elections now will be conducted through electronic transmission of results. This will deepen the democratic process.
“This is the time to heal the wounds. This is the time to rectify the wrongs. This is the time to preach the bond of collective oneness. This is the time to forgive and forge a common union predicated on equity, pivoted on fairness, solidify on the premise of justice regardless of tribal or sectarian differences.
This is our challenge. This is our defining goal. This is the only road to reclaim the center in 2023. May God bless our party. May God bless the Nigerian union.”