Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, has put himself forward as a candidate to represent the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in next year’s governorship election in Ogun State.
Bankole, who spoke at PDP stakeholders’ meeting in Abeokuta, the state capital, requested to be the party’s flag bearer at the 2015 governorship election in the state.
The former speaker of was only four weeks ago cleared of fraud charges for which he has been standing trial before an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
The court discharged and acquitted Bankole over amongst other allegations, using fake companies to defraud the Federal Government to the tune of N894 million.
Speaking at Saturday’s meeting, however, Bankole called for unity among members of the PDP in the state as it prepares for the next general, saying: “Let it be known that I am not for any faction or group. I am only interested in one united PDP in the state.”
He also noted that disunity was a major factor responsible for the unimpressive performance of PDP in the 2011 general election in the state and that the existence of different groups and factions pursuing selfish interest and the inability of the party to manage the situation led to its poor performance at the 2011 polls in the state.
“We allowed divisions in our party to linger while individual interests were placed above party interests, and we paid dearly for it,” the former speaker said, adding he felt honoured that the stakeholders considered him worthy of the party’s flag at the forthcoming 2015 governorship election.
He, however, said that a united front was the bedrock of regaining supremacy and ensuring victory at the 2015 polls.
The former speaker stated: “I do not think that adoption of a flag bearer for our party is our top priority now.
“We need to mobilise our people from the grassroots and begin to mend fences and address those challenges that robbed us of victory at the 2011 polls.
“We must urgently embark on a sincere and genuine process of reconciliation and allow aggrieved members who had left the party to return to the fold.
“We must allow unity to reign supreme in our party and work together to move PDP forward in Ogun,” he added.