Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti state, on Friday said former President Goodluck Jonathan lost the 2015 election because most of the people who advised him were elders who lacked the idea to steer the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to victory.
Addressing reporters at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, Fayose said it was time for the elders who allegedly misled Jonathan to take the back seat and allow young people introduce new ideas in the party.
He was reacting to the pronouncements of some PDP stakeholders led by Jerry Gana, former minister of information, who asked Ali Modu Sheriff to step down as chairman of the party.
The stakeholders also declared the forthcoming PDP convention slated for Port Harcourt on May 21 as null and void, saying it had set up a 21-man committee to preside over the affairs of PDP in the interim.
But the governor said nothing would stop the convention from holding.
“That convention would hold as proposed. You can wish anything but God’s plan for the PDP is that the May 21 convention cannot be stopped,” he said.
“If you are leading as elders and we lost election, then something is wrong; most of the people who were Jonathan’s advisers were elders and we lost election.
“We won’t say they should go but they should take a back seat. In most of the advanced democracies, if you lose election, it is just decent for you to allow other people to try, especially young people.
“I have no apology over that statement, and I am saying it again that if I am struggling for a position with my son, it is ridiculous.
“I was governor at 42. You need a lot of energy to be a leader, not when they are giving you Panadol to be strong. Age is a disease on its own.
“New generation should take over this party and build it. Anything you are doing and your children do not have insight into it will perish.
“Since this party started we have always referred to the elder, but are we saying that we should continue to say the younger generation should go to blazes?”
“Are you saying that you will call somebody in the village to come and take a position? That era is gone. You have to struggle; you have to make efforts and show that you actually need that position.”
Fayose said the fact that there was so much in-fighting among PDP members was an indication that the party was still strong.
The governor said before now, most of those who held leadership in positions in the party were unwilling characters, “but now willing characters are coming out that is why you see the struggle that much”.
“As a result, a lot of people will be displaced or feel displaced. A lot of people are feeling displayed but it is not displacement as it were,” he said.
“The fact that everybody wants to be relevant in the party shows that the party is strong. If there is no future for PDP, there would be no such struggle.
“Have you seen a party that is not in crisis when it comes to interest and leveraging of interests? Politics is about interests.”
Fayose said that in spite of the differences in the party, there was need for PDP members to settle the squabbles internally.
“We will have differences; it is normal in politics but washing your dirty linen in public is bad. Let the young men take over in Nigeria,” he said.