From Romanus Ugwu, Ndubuisi Orji and Obi Okwe, Abuja
National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi yesterday said that the party would wrest power from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 presidential poll, and for that reason, he prayed that President Muhammadu Buhari would recover and be healthy to witness the defeat of his party.
He stated this yesterday while declaring open the PDP Special Non-Elective Convention at the Eagle Square in Abuja. The convention was attended by former President Goodluck Jonathan and his former deputy, Namadi Sambo, Governors Ayodele Fayose, Nyesom Wike, Emmanuel Udom, Ifeanyi Okowa, Darius Ishaku and David Umahi of Ekiti, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Taraba and Ebonyi states respectively.
Also in attendance were Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dakwanbo, members of the PDP caucus in the National Assembly and a large number of party stalwarts from across the country.
Makarfi said the opposition party wishes President Buhari well and would continue to pray for his good health , so that he would remain in office up to 2019 when the APC will be defeated.
The PDP leader said: “We mean well for our President.
We will continue to pray for his full recovery. We want him to be fit and on seat when we will defeat the APC government come 2019.
“We will continue to pray for him but that doesn’t mean we will go to sleep. We will work hard to replace the APC government come 2019, God willing.
“Nigerians may wonder, what has PDP got Well, what are you getting now Are you not hungry Are you not jobless Are you not insecure My God! Pray for PDP to come back.
“Kidnapping is part of insecurity and it has spread across the length and breadth of the this country and it’s because of joblessness.”
He said the massive turnout at the convention and enthusiasm by Nigerians in the affairs of the opposition party is an indication that the PDP is “government in waiting.”
Makarfi said the APC administration has impoverished Nigerians in the last two years and promised that the PDP will return the country to the path of prosperity when it regains power in 2019.
According to him, when the opposition party regains power, “there will be no hunger because there will be plenty to eat. There may be plenty in the market but you have zero cash in your pocket. Under PDP, there will be cash in your pocket because you have earned the cash.”
The former Kaduna State governor added that the PDP, apart from being an organised and disciplined party is also truthful.
“What we say in the day time is what we will say in the afternoon. We are prepared. We have seen it all. We have seen it all,” he said.
Makarfi expressed appreciation to PDP leaders across the country for their untiring support to the party. He also thanked the judiciary for its role in resolving the party leadership crisis.
In his remarks, Fayose, who is also the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, said now that God has “liberated PDP from the hands of the hijackers”, it is poised to deliver the county from the APC.
He said Nigerians entered a “one chance vehicle”, when it voted for the APC in 2015. The governor, however, promised that the PDP will deliver the country, noting that the party will take over the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock in 2019.
“Nigerians entered “one chance.” These people in power miss road.
We entered “one chance.” We will take you out of one chance. And give you many chances,” Fayose said.
On his part, former Minister of External Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi said the difference between the PDP and the APC is as clear as daylight and night.
“You have seen the PDP. You have seen the APC.
The difference is clear. The PDP has Board of Trustees. The APC does not have Board of Trustees.
The PDP is holding a convention. The APC cannot hold a convention. The difference is clear. It is as clear as daylight and night. The PDP has come to re-establish itself,” Ikimi said.
PDP extends Makarfi’s tenure by 4 months
…As Okowa calls for paradigm shift in party leadership
From Romanus Ugwu, Ndubuisi Orji and Obi Okwe, Abuja
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Non-Elective Convention, in Abuja yesterday, extended the tenure of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the party by four months.
The motion for the extension of the tenure was moved by former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio and seconded by former governor of Jigawa, Sule Lamido.
The National Caretaker Committee is expected to organise an elective convention, where substantive party officers will emerge within four months.
The proposed convention is also expected to effect amendments to some sections of the PDP convention.
The convention also ratified the dissolution of parallel state executive committees of the party in Anambra State by the caretaker committee last month and the subsequent setting up of a caretaker committee to manage the affairs of the PDP in the state.
The motion for ratification of the decision on the Anambra PDP was moved by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and seconded by Hajia Inna Ciroma.
Similarly, the PDP convention dissolved the party executive committees in Adamawa, Kebbi, Borno, Kwara, Lagos, Osun and Ogun states.
It authorised the national caretaker committee to set up caretaker committees in the affected states and hold congresses to elect substantive state executives within three months. The motion to this effect was moved by Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dakwanbo and seconded by his Abia State counterpart, Okezie Ikpeazu respectively.
A motion moved by former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana and seconded by former deputy speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha for ratification of all the concluded congresses in states and the six geo-political zones was also adopted by the PDP Convention.
Welcoming delegates to the convention, chairman of the Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa called for a paradigm shift in the administration of the PDP, as it gears up to regain power in 2019.
He said the opposition party needs sincere and strong leaders, who understand that power is held in trust for the people.
His words: “On this day, we must call for a paradigm shift in our party leadership style. Too often, we have demanded service – and worship – from the very people we have been called to serve. That must change.”
Okowa who noted that the last two years have been most challenging for the PDP, said the party’s survival is a testimony of the resilience of its grassroots structure.
According to him, the loss of the presidential election in 2015 and the gale of defections that followed thereafter, and the leadership crisis that hit the party last year were enough to sink the opposition party.
“We cannot shy away from the fact that there are lessons to be learnt also. For with our defeat at the presidential election, the loss of many states at the governorship election, and the slide into minority in the National Assembly came the sobering lesson that the PDP had become a victim of its own success. Internal democracy took a backstage, aggrieved party members were disregarded and impunity became the order of the day at various leadership levels in the party. In short, we cut short the hopes of Nigerians with our failure to manage our success. The travail of the last two years, I am persuaded, is our divinely ordained chastisement for this pitfall.”
The Delta governor said the experience of the PDP in the last two years may actually be a blessing in disguise as it has afforded the party an opportunity to do some soul searching.
Also, Okowa said the PDP’s loss in 2015 afforded Nigerians the opportunity to experience another party govern the country, noting that Nigerians can now compare and contrast between the opposition party and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). He urged PDP leaders and members to condition their hearts for a new beginning.
“We must root out the past mistakes and model the right attitudes. It is time for self re-examination and a return to what is right.
To build a solid team, we must be warm and inviting; the love for impunity and exclusion must cease. There must be integrity and discipline in our democratic system at all levels of party governance, and we must put to the fore those things that add value to the growth of our party. “On this day, we need to reaffirm our commitment to the democratic ideals of internal party democracy, sovereignty of the people, majority rule and minority rights, the rule of law and good governance, respect for civil and political rights, and inclusive participation of all in party administration,” Okowa said.