The Congress of Yoruba Sons and Daughters within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) say they are angered by the insults allegedly hauled on the Yoruba by the Governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike.
- They said they took a strong exception to Wike’s comment that the Yoruba were inconsequential and had no practical political importance in the PDP.
- According to them, Wike also described former President Olusegun Obasanjo as a failure.
The group at a press conference addressed by its chairman, Dayo Ogunjebe, in Lagos on Wednesday lamented that Wike’s comment was a reflection of how much the Yoruba in the PDP had been “pushed to the edge of the cliff” and relegated in the opposition party’s scheme of things.
The group in a statement titled, “The Yoruba people: Time for reflection,” read by Ogunjebe said the Yoruba in the PDP had been cheated by the party’s failure to elect a Yoruba man as the national chairman of the PDP.
He said, “Our leaders are being mocked. Our symbols of truth and sincerity are now being derided, snubbed, treated with contempt and disowned.
“The irreverent, scandalous, arrogant and most myopic statement of the Governor of Rivers, Mr Nyesom Wike, is the crowning of all insults upon our people.
“Wike, in his most arrogant and selfish swagger, openly derided our people as being inconsequential and of no practical political importance in the PDP.
“This is rather scandalous and very benighted. He even insulted our former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, as a failure. This is an aberration.
“We, at the Congress of Yoruba Sons and Daughters within the PDP fold, are outraged, angry, disappointed, very sad and sickened about this very primitive utterance of Governor Wike.
- He said the Yoruba did not deserve to be unfairly treated in the PDP having “worked assiduously for the growth and development of the PDP.”
He said, “In both financial and moral terms, the Yoruba people have been selfless, making tremendous sacrifices. (They have been) consistent and devoted to the growth of our party.
“But we have been cheated. We have been maligned. The chairmanship position that rightly belongs to us has been taken away. It has been sold to the highest bidder.
“Let Wike and the Yoruba betrayers at home know that we will never play the role of a second fiddle to anyone. We are proud of our heritage. We are proud of our achievements across this nation. We do respect the feelings and the tradition of other people. Surely, we will never sit idle while anyone attacks the collective interest of the Yoruba race.”
- The group insisted that Wike must apologise for “his indecent statement”.
It argued that with the failure to give the PDP national chairman’s position to a Yoruba man, the opposition party had “slowly dwindled into a regional party with Wike swaggering like an overlord.”
What this means: Unlike popular belief that the party’s convention will stabilise the party ahead of the 2019 elections, the PDP still remains divided.
This started with a rumoured “Unity List”, the pull out of most of the South West candidates and the anger displayed by some of the candidates after the election; which the party has denied.
The disaffection within the party became glaring when former President Goodluck Jonathan, alongside the newly elected chairman Uche Secondus, went out of their way to visit some Yoruba elders to pacify them after the convention, demanding that they forgive and forget.
There would not have been any need for that if the election at the convention went on democratically.
It also goes on to show that the party might not be ready to be the main opposition in the 2019 Presidential elections.