–PDP Chairman, Uche Secondus
While making a speech at the meeting with PDP National Working Committee recently in Abuja, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus referring to the now trending controversial letter of former President Obasanjo said that the All Progressives Congress had become a lame duck after asking Buhari not to seek re-election.
He said that the letter also exposed the corruption and nepotism in the Buhari administration.
He insisted that that APC has failed “woefully” since 2015 when it assumed leadership of the country.
He urged PDP politicians, who are interested in contesting 2019 elections, to be free to express their desire, saying that the party has opened its door for all, adding that PDP will ensure it conducts transparent primaries guided by the constitution of the party.
He also charged the former ministers to mobilise their constituents ahead of the 2019 elections, saying that was an opportunity for PDP to get back to power.
He said, “The NWC is also putting all the necessary strategies together, and we assure you that come 2019, Nigerians will vote for PDP. APC has failed woefully.
“Our nation is in a situation where PDP must save this nation from total collapse. The government of APC and the APC itself have become a lame duck after former President Obasanjo released a political tsunami and verdict on the government.
“His letter chronicled happenings in the government and the country. It is red card for this ineptitude government and we all support Obasanjo’s position.”
To return to power in 2019, he charged the former ministers to have confidence in the leadership of PDP, saying that the party was ready to interact with Nigerians at any level.
He said, “Those of you who are interested to vie for one office or the other, we want to assure you that our doors are very open.
“The best way to go from where we found ourselves today is to make sure that we conduct very transparent elections, be it the congresses or the primaries.
“I want to assure that the old system of imposition or any other thing that will go contrary to our constitution will be far off from the NWC members, we will not go that way.
“We will go strictly and abide by our constitution and our rules. That is the promise of the NWC. Our laws must be obeyed, our rules must be obeyed, we must follow them in order to restore confidence to our people.”
Secondus disclosed that the party would also devolve power, “because, over the years, so much powers have been concentrated at the centre.”
He also said, “And we discovered that the only way to do it is to devolve power to the grassroots. And our slogan explained it all, power to the people. So the people at home can decide, not the people in Abuja or NWC.
“Let the people at the various constituents and states decide who will represent them, it will make the election easy for us.”
The Chairman said that the NWC was also putting the necessary strategies together, and “will we assure that come 2019, that Nigerians will vote for PDP. APC has failed woefully.”
Responding, the Chairman of former Ministers Forum who was a former Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki (SAN), said that with the kind of leaders the party has, “the war to bring back what rightly belongs to us has started.
“We said it that there are only two political parties, PDP and the rest. Even the ones that people thought were political parties, people have realised that they are mere associations and clubs that have come together, wreaking havoc on our democracy. Nigerians have seen them for what they are.
“I want to call on you to open your doors very wide because all those that are real politicians, all those that are Democrats will come back home and we are ready for them.
“As you begin your crusade of saving democracy in Nigeria, crusade of saving
Nigeria from hunger, from poverty, from insecurity, from hopelessness and joblessness, it should be at the back of your mind that the colossal knowledge, experience and technical know-how at the disposal of the former ministers is there for you to tap.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman, National Reconciliation Committee of the PDP who is also the Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Henry Dickson has called for more understanding and solidarity amongst all aspirants of the party.
Dickson, who made the call yesterday at the party’s Secretariat in a meeting with some of the aspirants in the last convention, also begged members of the party to stop defecting.
“I call on our members to stop defecting to other side. They should stop the crossover. We should all stay back to rebuild, reposition and be with the party, “ he added.
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has advised leaders of the party to allow people at the grassroots decide their representatives in the 2019 general elections.
Secondus gave the advice during the interactive session of the National Working Committee (NWC) with the former PDP Ministers Forum,yesterday in Abuja.
He said allowing people to decide their representatives would make the elections easier for the PDP. The national chairman said in accordance with the slogan of the party, “Power to the People”, the PDP NWC intended to devolve power to the grassroots.
“You are aware we are not in government at the centre, so the only way is to make sure that the choice of the people are the best.
“If it is the popular choice of the people, the people will stand by them and elections become easy for us to win.
“The NWC is also putting all the necessary strategies together, and we assure that come 2019, Nigerians will vote for PDP, “ Secondus said.
He said that the best way to go for PDP is to make sure its elections are transparent; be it congresses or the primaries.
Secondus, who described the former ministers as key factors in the PDP, said the NWC was ready to work with them.
He charged the forum members to move to their constituencies and reignite the party by assuring them that power belongs to the people.
“Very soon, we shall roll out our programme. We are going back to online membership drive and it is going to be aggressive.
“We also want to assure you that members of the NWC are not ready to seat at Wadata, in the confines of air-conditioning.
“We want to roll out our programme and move to the States and the local governments, and we will get to the wards and if possible the units, to seek for membership.”
In his response, Chairman of the Former Ministers Forum, Tanimu Turaki, said with the current NWC, the war to bring back what rightly belongs to the people had started.
He advised the NWC to work with members of the forum in its crusade of saving Nigeria democracy, and the country from hunger, poverty, insecurity, hopelessness and joblessness.
“Whenever people criticise PDP, they are not criticising PDP for what it has done or not done for the party, they are criticising PDP for what it has done in government.
“So, the best set of people who are positioned to respond to those kinds of criticisms would be those who have served in government.
“These are people who have knowledge of what was done and what has not been done.
“These are the people who are aware of why those decisions, some of which have been very painful, had to be taken in the overall interest of Nigeria,” Turaki said.
He assured the NWC of the forum’s maximum support, saying:”when you move into the trenches, you will meet us there waiting for you”.
Similary, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has dismissed former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s allegation that the party had procured judgments of the Supreme Court in the string of litigations that trailed the victory of many of its governors in the 2015 elections.
In a statement, last Wednesday by PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said it never attempted or ever procured judgements from any court after the elections, adding that it represents the true coalition of Nigerians from across the country.
It added that its experience in governance and successful rebound from challenges has provided it an edge over every other existing or intended political platforms in the country.
It would be recalled that in his recent letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, Obasanjo had accused a certain PDP governor in the South-South of seeking to take control of the opposition party, simply because he procured the judgment of the apex court in respect of the cases involving a number of PDP governors.
“The PDP did not procure judgment from the Supreme Court contrary to the unsubstantiated claims made by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his letter advising President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek re-election in 2019.
“Obasanjo’s claim on procurement of judgement amounts to an ill-intended attempt to impugn on the integrity of the Supreme Court, particularly when such a claim is false and not predicated on any empirical proof.
“The party said that the ruling of the Supreme Court, which ended the protracted internal feud within its fold, rather than detract, reinforced the confidence of Nigerians in the PDP as the platform that truly embodies the resilience of a genuine democratic process in the face of daunting challenges.
“Even the worst critics of PDP concede that the judgment of the Supreme Court was unprejudiced, uninfluenced and determined completely on merit, for which it was applauded in Nigeria and across the world.
“Also, the conduct of our December, 2017, elective national convention in a transparent, free and fair manner and where nobody was ‘kingmaker,’ denotes the democratic credential of the repositioned PDP to deliver credible primaries that would yield a presidential candidate Nigerians desire”.
The PDP said there is an extensive dissimilarity between it and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party said while it remains nationally populist and development-driven, “the APC by orientation and composure is arrogant, inept and anti-people, hence the nationwide detestation against it”.
The opposition party said it’s not like the APC, where a very few individuals from within a circle control the instrument of power and governance.
It claimed to be an egalitarian platform where Nigerians are free to express themselves, politically engage and freely aspire to any office without regard to divisive considerations.