The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) rose from its 81st National Executive Council (NEC) with the resolve to return to power in 2019 saying that it learnt painfully from its lessons and is now ready to govern Nigeria. Abdulrahman Zakariyau writes on major highlight PDP battle ready.
Addressing members of the party NEC, the PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, boasted that party is battle ready and will move from street to street to engage and persuade the voters to align with them against the APC which misrule he said was palpable for all to see and feel.
“The state of affairs of our country is getting worse by the day and as the APC government continues in all ramification, to show that it lacks the wherewithal to manage our country, the nation has been in a great mourning since last week when troops were brutally murdered in Metele, Borno State by Boko Haram with exact figures of casualties yet unknown one week after.
“This development, arising from the failure of the ruling administrations, has placed enormous challenge on us as the main opposition party to work for our democracy and rescue this country from the ineptitude of this government.
“Majority of Nigerians, who are disillusioned about the state affair of this country, are all excited and praying ceaselessly as that we can get it right and that the APC administration can be chased out of their lives and as a result, cronies of the APC in the commission have had a field day in the blatant manipulation of the process.
He further challenged President Buhari to a debate.
“President Buhari should come and tell Nigerians what he has to offer, let him come for debate”, Secondus said stressing that intelligence report before the party shows that security agents are hell bent on manipulating the 2019 elections.
“The consequences of rigging 2019 elections may be terrible for our dear country so we call on all Nigerians and the international community to add their voices to the agitation towards ensuring that the APC FG and the INEC conduct free and fair transparent election in 2019.
The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 general elections, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar corroborated the position of the party chairman stating the PDP will battle the APC and wrest power from them. Speaking on the 2015 defeat, he said the party has learnt lessons and they are now ready to govern Nigeria well.
“As a party, we have lost elections, we have learnt our lesson and because we have learnt our lessons we will impact more. This is normal in a democratic process. The reform committee, which was headed by the Deputy Senate President, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, has done tremendously well and I want to use this opportunity to commend him for an excellent work.
“It is normal, therefore, after we have reformed ourselves we should return to power and we must return to power because Nigerians have agreed that we have learnt our lessons. We have reformed and we are now ready again to offer them a better leadership than the first time we came into office.
On his chances in the 2019
Atiku said “I believe with the genuine support of all of you, particularly our governors and members of the national assembly, our party leaders at local level and of course party supporters, if we work together I am convinced and in fact without any doubt that this election is for us to win.
Atiku who also commended the Convention Planning Committee, declaring that, as a foundation member of the party since 1998, he has never seen such a “credible, transparent, fair convention like the one the PDP held in Port Harcourt.
Calls out Buhari for debate
He however challenged President Muhammadu Buhari, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to a debate on national issues, Atiku said “I am ready to debate President Muhammadu Buhari.
Saraki makes claims
On his part, the Senate President, Director General Atiku Presidential campaign council, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki claimed that the people are with the PDP and its presidential candidate.
He said, “The people are with us and when the people are with us, God is with us, we will do it, we will succeed. I emphasise that we must stay strong because it is not going to be easy. Let us remember when we were going for the convention this room was vibrating, there was tension in the country and people never believed that it was possible, because it has never happened where people will go to a primary and come out with not even one person saying I don’t agree.
“If you talk to 10 Nigerians today they will tell you yes your party is popular but they will rig it. What does that mean? We must stand, we must stand for free and credible election. We must stand for an election where people have the right to vote. Election cannot be credible when you have a practice that two days before the election, all opposition leaders will start looking for them in their houses to arrest them, that cannot be a credible election and that must stop.
Need for unity
Saraki urged all party members to go and reconcile their states, noting that, “we can all work together and give support to our presidential candidate, because as I said, our own ambition is small when compared to ambition of this country.
“People are suffering, there’s poverty in the land, there’s insecurity in the land and as I keep saying and I will keep on saying it you cannot give what you don’t have. What this country needs now is someone that understands what it takes to bring good to the table.
Saraki said “I have never seen any democracy in any part of the world where someone is seeking office without debate. He must come out and tell Nigerians what he wants to do. That’s why the chairman said they should have a presidential debate. Let’s hear and let Nigerians decide. This is what we need to do so that Nigerians can decide truly who will provide that future for them.
Those who attended the NEC includes: Chairman Board of Trustee (BOT), Senator Wali Jibrin, Governor of Kwara state, Abdulfatai Ahmed, governor of Delta state, Ifeanyi Okowa, Ebonyi state governor, David Umahi, the vice president candidate, Peter Obi, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former Senate President, David Bonaventure Mark, Senator Philip Aduda, Senator Dino Melaye, all party structure were represented.