Former Vice President Atiku
A South-West group, Progressive Yoruba Youth Congress (PYYC) has cautioned the South west against voting the Peoples Democratic Party candidate in the Presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, saying it will have grave consequences for the region.
Addressing journalists in Lagos, Kola Salawu explained that under the last PDP led federal government, the South West geo political zone was completely neglected.
According to him, despite being the region with the second highest number of registered voters and highly intellectual professionals, the south west under the PDP was denied any meaningful position in the top hierarchy of political office holders.
“At some point there was nobody from the South West region occupying any of the top ten positions in the Country. Even amongst cabinet ministers, very little consideration was given to compensating the South West geo political zone with key ministries after missing out of key political offices. You could almost be right if you called the then PDP government anti South West.
“The South West through its major political leaders decided to act. They pushed for alliances with other political parties across the Country to form the new All Progressives Congress (APC). They mobilized the South West to vote the new party which ultimately resulted to victory the APC at the polls.”
He pointed that the neglect by the PDP was not only political but also infrastructural, adding that the party for whatever reason barely completed or even carried out any major project in the South West.
According to him, important roads like the Lagos – Ibadan express way, the Benin – Ore expressway and the Oyo- Ogbomosho road were all abandoned.
“There was barely any federal presence in the South West,” he said, adding that “it is however a different ball game under the APC government. Politically the APC has taken care of the interest of the South West tremendously. The Vice President is from the South west, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representative is also from the South West. The super Minister Babatunde Fsahola in- charge of Ministry of power, works and housing is from the South West, as well as Ministers of Health, Finance, Solid minerals, and Communications. The Chief of Defense staff is from the South West, Head of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) Tunde Fowler.”
Salawu said the APC led Federal Government has 68 ongoing road projects in the South West alone.
He however said the master stroke was the recognition of June 12 as Democracy day and the Honor given to Chief MKO Abiola, saying even the Obasanjo government refused every appeal to have this done.
He said further, “To our amazement, when the PDP were going to have their convention in 2017 to pick their new party executives; the party agreed to zone the party chairmanship position to the South West but alas, that did not happen, the position was given to the South- South. After their party presidential primaries where Atiku Abubakar emerged candidate, he picked Mr. Peter Obi from the South East geo-political zone as running mate.
“It became obvious again that the party was not repentant and was going to treat the South West with the same disdain it has always had. It was reported in the news media that the PDP has decided to give the position of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to the South West.This must be very laughable and as our people say “we cannot compare a man sleeping with a dead man” that is a perfect description of both offers.