The National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Kola Ologbondiyan speaks to ABDULRAHMAN ZAKARIYAU on how ready they are as an opposition party to democratically take over power from the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC).
General election is barely a year to come, what efforts are you making to regain power at the center?
We came into office since December 2017. We began our repositioning and rebranding campaign. We are open to all democratic institutions, Nigerians, community leaders, market women, youth and all the platforms that are ready to form a coalition with us. And we are holding discussions at various levels and Nigerians are rallying round the People’s Democratic Party(PDP).
Nigerians who are sick and tired of starvation, Nigerians who are sick and tired of the hunger in our nation today. Nigerians who have become tired of the comatose of the All Progressives Congress(APC), are all rallying the People’s Democratic Party, with one sole aim, to remove the APC and its incompetent President, Muhammadu Buhari.
Your party is still facing threats of defections, what efforts are you making to halt the exodus?
When you talk about defection from our party, its amusing to us. I said so because, what party are they defecting to? Anybody, any Nigerian who is leaving the People’s Democratic Party for any other party apart from the APC is still going to work with the Peoples Democratic Party.
We are working towards a coalition, a coalition of parties, of communities, of people in various forms who are prepared to express their tiredness, who are prepared to show this current government that it is truly incompetent. Nigerians don’t want to elect a fresher that will come and govern them. So if they defect to Social Democratic Party(SDP), or they defect to any other party outside APC, they are still going to work with the Peoples Democratic Party.
Some PDP chieftains are still disenchanted over the last convention, despite the overtures made by ex President Goodluck Jonathan and party Chairman, Uche Secondus. How will the party cement this crack before the coming elections?
That will not be correct; it will not be correct because yes, some members raised concern about the outcome of the convention and the party immediately empanelled the Governor Seriake Dickson National Reconciliatory Committee and it went round.
I was a part of that committee, we went to the South West where we met with chairmanship aspirants, we came to Abuja here and met other aspirants. Discussions were held and provisions were also made to attain peace within the party. And as you can see from our NEC meeting today(last Thursday), you could see many of the people who were alleged to have decamped to other political parties were at the NEC meeting today.
I agree with you that we have a semblance of maybe one or two VIP founding fathers of our party who went to SDP, but I must tell you something about it, at the end of it all we are going to collaborate to work together in a coalition that will remove the incompetent All Progressives Congress from power.
Last year, former Head of State, Abdulsalam Abubakar noted that your party is not really putting the ruling APC on its toes. It’s seems nothing has changed then and now.
We will continue to improve on our effort to rally Nigerians to support the People’s Democratic Party and other viable political groups, association and political parties that are keen about removing the incompetent government that we have in place today. So it is not a question of whether we are doing enough, we will continue to improve on whatever effort that we are putting in.
People are saying that you seem to react to issues rather than set the national agenda. Is this perception correct?
Our strategy are in two points, when people say we react to issues and we are not setting agenda, we find it strange. We say so because, APC in the history of political party in Nigeria is the only party that has an undemocratic agenda of seeing itself as the only political party in existence in this country. So, from the beginning of its existence, it came with one agenda which is to take PDP off the stage and if we looked at our history as a party, we are truly the people’s party, we are concerned with the ideals of democracy, the rule of law, social justice, equity and we work on how to make life better for the ordinary Nigerians. But APC came and made all the promises on earth that could be made to anybody and they have failed to implement any of those promises in almost three years of their government. And they are not stopping despite there failures, they have not blinked an eyelid in spite of the massive failure that has characterized there government. All they do on daily basis is to destroy the People’s Democratic Party as a political party, not individuals who operated on the platform of the party.
Their target is the People’s Democratic Party and that is why what ever they say about PDP, any lover of the party will feel compelled to respond to them. That answers the question.
In the same vein, we also engaging in setting agenda for our nation. So in the realms of our discussion, we have pointed out the answers. We engage APC where we need to engage them, we set agenda where and when we need to.