By Umar Bayo Abdulwahab
Controversy has trailed the alleged endorsement made by former President Ibrahim Babangida of the candidature of former Ogun state governor, Gbenga Daniel, for the office of National Chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
A press statement sent to Premium Times alleged that the former president and one of the founders of PDP, had thrown their weight behind Daniel in his bid to become the national chairman of the party.
IBB, as he is fondly called, reportedly described Daniel as the “breath of fresh air.”
The statement said Babangida made the declaration at his Hilltop residence in Minna, Niger state, when Daniel led a delegation on a visit to the former military president in furtherance to his (Daniel’s) nationwide consultation.
The statement quoted Daniel as saying during the visit that no serious politician in the country would embark on such an important national task without seeking the wisdom and blessing of the former president.
Babangida was quoted to have said he was “quite elated when he learnt that Daniel was interested in offering his service to the country.
“I was elated when I first heard that you were interested in volunteering yourself for this great service to our country, you represent the breadth of fresh air that the party deserves at this stage.
“I know OGD (Daniel) very well and I know his unparalleled capacity for work. I have a strong conviction that with OGD as chairman; the party can be turned around again.
“I am supporting you because I know you very well. OGD, you’re my chairman in waiting.”
One of his aides, however, said like Daniel, “other aspirants will also visit him and he will have something to say about them too. IBB is home to all and as a founding father of the PDP, he’s at home with all persons.
“No doubt IBB is close to Daniel, he is also close to Tunde Adeniran, Bode George and Raymond Dokpesi, who will all run for chairman,” he said.
The other names mentioned by the aide are also seeking to the national chairman of the largest opposition in Nigeria at a convention set to hold later this year.