Following his resignation from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his declaration for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has stated that his return is to contribute to the rebuilding, reforming and rebranding of the party to ensure that it takes over power come 2019.
The Waziri Adamawa who reminded the gathering that PDP was founded on the principles of democracy, good governance, unity of this country and the prosperity of its people called on those who left the party to copy his example and return.
Atiku who arrived the Wadata plaza on Tuesday at 11:58am in a black Merzdez with Lagos registration number EX 445 SMK amidst his supporters first went upstairs for a brief meeting with the chairman of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi before he walked alongside the members of the National Working Committee into NEC hall.
The former Vice President described his return to PDP as home coming admitting that over the years, like any or every human organisation, PDP has faced challenges
He paid tribute to Makarfi and his team as well as “those who have stayed steadfast through thick and thin to see the party through to this point.”
The Waziri Adamawa noted that the party had learnt lessons and hoped that it would be guided by the lessons learnt over the period.
The former vice president said that no government can achieve 50 per cent of the records that PDP achieved while in office let alone equalling the performance.
“I like to thank you very much indeed for this privilege and opportunity granted me to do so, realising that this is a very time busy for you.
“All what I have come to do today is to come and show my face. Many people have read in the media that I have returned home. This is home.
“Mr Chairman, I want to congratulate you for a wonderful work which you have been doing to redeem the image of this party, to return it, rebrand it and return it to its original form.
“I want to assure you of my support and cooperation at all times, to make sure that these objectives are achieved by you and subsequently by your successors.
“We should remember that those of us who founded this party, founded it on the principles of democracy, good governance, unity of this country and the prosperity of its people.
“Over the years, like any or every human organisation, it has faced its challenges but I want to pay tribute to those who have stayed steadfast through thick and thin to see us through to this point.
“Now that we have learnt our lessons, I hope that we will be guided by the lessons we have learnt. And that is to make sure that we build an all inclusive party, where every part of this country will have a sense of belonging and sense of participation.
“To achieve all these, there must be sacrifices, understanding and compromises in the process of achieving that.
“And that is what I speak to members to imbibe. But as you know, one thing that I will never compromise is the internal democracy process in a given political party. And I hope we all must have learnt our lessons.
“I therefore want to pledge to you Mr Chairman and members of the National Working Committee that my returning home is to help continue with the sort you have started, reforming, re-branding this very party which is the only party in this country.
“Let me pay tribute to past leadership of this great party; where ever they may be and to call upon them to please return home as I have done.
“It is only by their returning home that we will build a stronger, more united party that can again return to government and continue to deliver the dividends of democracy.
“I can bet you the records we have achieved so far in governance no government has yet even done 50 percent of what we have achieved in government, not to talk of equalling our performance in government.”
Responding Makarfi said Atiku has opened the floodgate of more high profile returnees and new entrants into the PDP.
He added that “PDP must be prepared and ready to reconcile in such a way and manner that everybody will be treated and given a level playing field to purse his or her personal aspiration.”
He called on Atiku to help the party “reinvent the vehicle that will take us to Aso rock in 2019, we are not just targeting Aso Rock, we are targeting the federal legislature, the state both the executive and legislature. We are targeting the local governments.
“We want to sweep elections all across the party. As a United party we have the capacity and we have the ability to do so.
“Even this week we recorded two massive legal victories another attack against this who are hell bent on destabilizing this party and holding this party down. So it has not been easy.
Makarfi stated that the party had faced “Guerila warfare, artillery attacks, bombardments but we weathered the storm. And the story will be a positive one by the end of the day.
“Your Excellency, you have opened the flood gates and we expect many more high profile returnees and new entrants into the PDP.
“So PDP must be prepared for this, and be ready to reconcile and reiterate in such a way and manner that everybody will be treated and given a level playing field to purse his or her personal aspiration. That is what PDP must stand for if it has to survive.
“You have returned in good time and you should continue to contribute in this reinvention, remodeling of our party so that come 2019, we can reclaim what we can claim is ours. Because we still remain the only true democratic party in the true sense of the the word.
“We thank you for coming before the convention so that you can contribute to what we have started going forward. We will continue to consult you.”