The Peoples Democratic Party’s national chairmanship aspirant, Raymond Dokpesi, on Tuesday denied that he ever left the party for the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA).
Mr. Dokpesi spoke in Akure, the Ondo State capital, as he tried to woo delegates to vote him as the national chairman of the party at the forthcoming convention of the party.
Mr. Dokpesi, former Labour Party chairman, Dan Inwuanyawu, and other members of the PDP had in June floated APDA at the height of apprehensions that the Supreme Court judgment may go against the Ahmed Makarfi faction in the leadership tussle of the party.
Although Mr. Dokpesi had since fully realigned with the main structure of the PDP, the continued existence of APDA is casting a shadow on his ambition to become the national chairman of the PDP.
At a meeting with the delegates and party chieftains at the state PDP secretariat, the Edo-born businessman and politician said the office of national chairman was not zoned to a particular region within the southern part of the country.
He argued that instead, the party agreed that the office should be zoned to the 17 states in southern Nigeria, while the presidency was zoned to the 19 northern states.
“The idea of APDA was a plan B platform for the PDP when the party was in a crisis caused by the Sheriff group,” he explained. “The party leaders at the time were aware of the plan and what we were doing. I never left the PDP, and when people asked me what the plan was I said plan A is PDP, plan A is PDP.”
Mr. Dokpesi said he believed in the PDP and its development, promising a number of reforms that would make the party stronger and viable ahead of the 2019 election.
While urging the Ondo delegates to give him their votes, he said he had the capacity to provide the needed leadership that would lead the party to victory in the coming general election.
The chairman of the party in Ondo State, Clement Faboyede, said he was certain that Mr. Dokpesi had the capacity to lead the party and had made tremendous contributions to the development of the PDP.
He however said the Ondo delegates were men and women of honour who would vote their conscience and for the best candidate that would do the party good.