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PDP National chairmanship: History beckons on Dr. Salawu

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Dr. Phillips Omeiza Salawu

By Anthony Maliki, Abuja

No doubt, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been on a cross roads since it lost Nigeria’s Presidency to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015. The PDP has won the presidential elections since the country returned to democracy in 1999 and had most state governors and other elective positions until 2015.

Now, nine years after, the party has not been able to put its house in order as one crisis to the other has divided its fabrics.
However, an opportunity to do that has presented itself. That is the selection of a candidate to fill the vacuum created by the exit of Senator Iyorchia Ayu as the Substantive National Chairman. This is slated before the end of this year and the party has constitutionally zoned the position to the North Central political axis to complete Ayu’s tenure up to 9th December 2025.

Already contestants have shown interest in the position. However, Dr. Phillips Omeiza Salawu stands tall among those eyeing to occupy the position.

Salawu was born on October 29, 1957 to the family of Mallam Salawu Atti Anuku and Mrs. Alice Bilikisu. He hails from Ikuehi, Ihima in Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State.

Salawu was the pioneer National Director of Finance of the party from 1998-2002 and later became the Deputy Governor of Kogi State from 2003 to 2012. He was member of the Board of Trustees from 2013 to 2015.

Besides, Dr. Salawu showed his academic abilities right from his secondary school days at Government Secondary School (GSS) Okene in Kogi State where he made Division One with Distinction at WASCE.

He proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he read Accounting graduating with a First Class degree. He was the best student in Parts I, II and III. He later read Accounting and Finance for his Master’s degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1981 and attended the Emily Woolf College of Accountancy in High Holborn, London for his professional accounting training. Salawu also led his PhD Class in the Course Work programme.

He is a Financial Technocrat, a Chartered Corporate Accountant, a Chartered Public Finance Accountant, a Chartered Banker, a Chartered StockBroked Forensic Auditor and a Lawyer.

Dr. Salawu: The three-point agenda to reset PDP

Dr. Salawu is always apt in how things are done or should be done and not vague in how to move the PDP forward. His three-point agenda are straight to the point.

Reconciliation: Dr. Salawu will be fair to all concerned to establish the needed unity. Infact, not known to be with any side within the party will give him a unique opportunity to carry out a full scale and a comprehensive reconciliation exercise to build-up the needed harmony for the party.

Restructuring: To make the party respond faster and appropriately to environmental issues

Restoration: To restore the position of the party in the Power Dynamics of the Nigerian State.

Dr. Salawu: Mr. Integrity

From being a formative member of the PDP from October 1998, Dr. Salawu knows clearly what to do and how to take the party out of the woods. He is appropriately set for the tasks ahead. He has the capacity and knowledge of the Nigerian political environment and its geo-political complexities.

Having held sensitive positions at the National Secretariat of the party, Dr. Salawu is experience enough to know the history of the party and how to solve the complexities within.

He also has integrity as shown in his records at both private and public sectors. There are testimonies at the party’s headquarters and during his public service days in Kogi State. Dr. Salawu has also offered his intellectual, technical and material resources for the foundation and consolidation of the party’s control of Nigeria’s political power from 1999-2015. Besides, he has ability to manage crises using his professional skills to manage the emerging party crises.

Also, as a lawyer, Dr. Salawu will definitely respect the party’s constitution on its supremacy adding to his courage and firm but fair in discharging his known responsibilities.

It is really appalling for now the PDP, as leading the party in Nigeria, has 13 Governors out of 36, mere 36 Senator out of 109, 118 Members in the House of Representatives out of 360 and a paltry 329 seats out of 991 in the state houses of assembly.

Even as the time of the selection beckons, Dr. Salawu is the best choice for he is a man of integrity to take the party back to its better days. PDP critical stakeholders particularly those from the North Central zone should consider Dr. Salawu candidacy deeply for the position because he is not known align with any power bloc in the party but open to all.

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