In his speech entitled: ‘A new path, a new beginning’, Bode George, who declared his intention to contest the National Chairmanship position of the PDP during its December National Convention, promised to deploy experience and wisdom to rescue and position the party to regain power in 2019.
The formal flag-off campaign attracted PDP members, who converged at the City Hall in Lagos.
Prominent party leaders present include former Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope; former Minister of Communications, Chief Dapo Sarumi; former Minister of Special Duties, Elder Wole Oyelese; former Deputy Governor of Lagos state, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor Akerele; former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Erelu Olusola Obada, National Vice Chairman PDP, Dr Eddy Olafeso; former Interim National Chairman PDP, Chief Ishola Filani former PDP Chairman, Lagos State, Captain Tunji Shelle and former PDP Chairman Ogun State, Chief Joju Fadairo.
Others are, Hon Tajudeen Obasa, Chief Kehinde Kuku, Chief Tajudeen Oladipo, Mr Seyi Makinde, governorship aspirant, Oyo state, former Deputy Governor, Oyo State, Chief Azeem Gbolarumi, Aremo Femi Adetola, Chief Remi Akintoye Hon Oladele Bankole Balogun and PDP leaders from South-East, South South and the North.
Addressing party leaders and members, Chief George promised to resuscitate the dream and principles of the PDP founding fathers as enshrined in the constitution of the party.
While he pledged to bring back the dignity of PDP by working diligently to unite members, he said as National chairman of the party, he would mend fences and heal old wounds for all to attain the collective aspiration of the once ruling party.
The party leader said if elected as the PDP national chairman, his first task would be to reconcile feuding factions and ensure party officials at all levels are given recognitions they deserve.
His words: “I have learned the ropes and I have been guided by the collective wisdom of our leaders across our great nation. I fully understand the precepts, the mechanisms and the constitution of our party.
“I know the tradition, the culture, the guiding ethos and the normative patterns that our leaders have built and nurtured for so many years. If elected, I am willing and ready to work with everyone regardless of personal differences to mend the broken places, to heal the ancient wounds, to reconcile the feuding factions and ultimately ensure that we strengthen our collective brotherhood and speak with one voice to regain victory in 2019.
“I will never compromise our foundational principles of justice, fairness and equity as enshrined in the constitution of our party. We will equally accord all our governors and legislators at both state and national levels the necessary pride of place and honour in this new dawn. We will protect their interests and help to enhance their effectiveness.”
“If I am given the privilege to serve, I will never play the role of an overlord. I will serve with dignity and diligence. I will respect the mighty and the low without discrimination. Together, we will remove impunity. Together, we will restore discipline and fair play. We will always insist on internal democracy,” he said.
He also noted that the PDP, under his leadership, will strive to revive the economy of Nigeria which had been battered, working with well-meaning members of the party to get the presidential power in 2019.
"Our party needs a rescue. Our party needs redemption. Our party deserves a balanced, experienced, tested, trusted and faithful hand. Our party needs a team player and a unifying leadership. Our party needs stability. Our party needs a patriotic emblem, a standard bearer undetained by tribal fixity.
"Here and now, I am humbly making a stand and a declaration as an aspirant for the position of the office of the National Chairman of our party with a vision to serve as a bridge builder, as a peace-maker and as a healer of the broken places.
"I cannot do it alone. Nobody can. I alone cannot resolve all the issues or reconcile all the differences.
"But I promise to work with our leaders to find a common ground and negotiate a healthy compromise to achieve a common purpose of a strong, prosperous, equitable, democratic and a victorious organization.
"I cannot pretend that I have all the answers. But I am prepared and willing to work with all strata of our party to ensure that the dreams and the visions of our founding fathers are fully restored once again.
"I am willing to work with the young and the old, the frail and the strong, men and women of all diversities to achieve a progressive synthesis to move our party forward.
"I am not a stranger to the processes, the spirit, the principles and the guiding ethos of our party."