Olabode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Monday said there was no rift between him and Jimi Agbaje, the partyâ€™s governorship candidate in Lagos.
Speaking at a colloquium titled: â€œ2019: South West speaksâ€ in Lagos, George said the belief in some quarters that he and Agbaje were not in good terms was untrue.
He, however, admitted that they had differences in the past on certain political issues, but that they had since risen above that and made up.
George said he had since forgotten whatever happened between the two of them as an elder in the party and in the interest of PDP.
The former PDP Deputy Chairman said Agbaje and his running mate, Mrs Haleemat Busari, had visited him in his residence where he particularly advised Busari on how to navigate the murky waters of politics successfully.
â€œThere is no rift between Agbaje and me. All that happened in the past is gone. The Yorubas say if you continue to nurse grudges with people, you will not have anybody to call your friend. The issues of the past belong to the past, there is no rift between us,â€ he said.
George, while delivering a keynote address at the colloquium, stressed the need for Nigerians to work together in the interest of the country.
He said that no nation attained greatness when people saw differences and identified themselves more with tribes than with the nation.
George said there was the need for Nigerians to shun politics of hatred and sectarian malice that would impede unity and peaceful co-existence.
â€œLet us dismantle the politics of hate and bitterness which diminish all of us. Let us remove the ogre of sectarian malice that distorts out humanity.
â€œAll our ethnic constituents are naturally peace-loving, caring and willing to live among themselves in harmony. Let the leaders demonstrate genuine, unbiased and unprejudiced leadership.
â€œWe have remained as a nation for 104 years now. That itself is a great achievement. Let us now build further on the path of progression and Pacific relationship.
â€œLet us continue to condemn and stamp out the primitive ideology of hatred and division,â€ he said.
He said the South west was critical to the development of the country and so should be apportioned itâ€™s fair share of dividends of democracy.
George, however, called for equity and fairness for all tribes and nationalities that make up the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that those at the colloquium included the Senate Minority Leader, Abiodun Olujimi and a former Minister of Transportation, Ebenezer Babatope.
Others were the Head, Presidential Advisory Committee of the 2014 National Conference, Sen. Femi Okurounmu, South west Chairman of PDP, Eddy Olafeso, a former Minister of Solid Minerals, Modupe Adelaja, and a former Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Obada.
Also present at the colloquium were Afenifere chieftain, Prof. Banji Akintoye; PDP chieftains, Chief Tajudeen Oladipo and Chief Wole Oyelese, Lagos PDP governorship candidate, Mr Jimi Agbaje and his running-mate, Mrs Haleemat Busari.
The PDP governorship candidate in Oyo, Seyi Makinde, the Lagos governorship candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Babatunde Gbadamosi, and a former Deputy-Governor of Lagos State, Kofoworola Bucknor, were also at the event.
Sen. Bode Olajumoke, was the chairman of the event at which the political interests of the South west and the way forward for the country were discussed by various speakers.
The high point of the colloquium was the adoption of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, by some leaders present as their preferred candidate of the South west for 2019.
In a communique issued after the programme, they said their decision to support Atiku was borne out of the belief that he would restructure the country if elected and promote equity and justice among Nigerians.