PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh
By Chuks Okocha
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sunday dismissed ongoing moves by opposition political parties to form an alliance aimed at wresting power from it in the 2015 general election.
The party said in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, that it was not threatened by such an alliance since it remains the only truly national political party that is deeply committed to the continued existence of Nigeria as well as its transformation.
Opposition parties, notably the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) have initiated talks to present a united front against the PDP in the next general election.
The ACN and CPC, whose efforts to form an alliance ahead of the 2011 general election were stymied by irreconcilable differences have revived the talks with their leaders, Senator Bola Tinubu of ACN and Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of CPC leading a delegation of their party chiefs on visits to each other’s home in Lagos and Kaduna respectively to consolidate negotiations that would pave the way for a stronger working relationship between the two parties before the 2015 polls.
The ANPP, on its part, is planning a summit of opposition parties to work out the modalities for an alliance that would provide them with a more acceptable national platform on which they can confront the PDP in the next elections.
However, PDP in reaction to the grand plans by the opposition to team up against it, urged the opposition parties to shed their personal interests as well as sectional agenda which it said was driving their alliance bid to ensure they can present a platform to challenge the party in the 2015 general elections.
The party said: “We hear of alliance and mergers every day. That is not new. Let us wait for 2015. Do you think Nigerians are fools? Do you think that Nigerians do not take notice of the character and tendency of individuals and political parties?
"The PDP is the only party that is committed to the continued existence of Nigeria and the welfare of its people. At the appropriate time, they will decide whether to entrust their great nation to the hands of regionalists, doomsday prophets and pro-anarchists or to the safe hands of the PDP. Basic common sense will prefer the latter.”
It said Nigerians will separate the wheat from the chaff and would choose between an alliance where vaulting personal interests would ceaselessly run riot and yield no support to national stability.
According to the PDP, though the nation was yet to reach its destination in terms of socio-political and economic development, in the last 13 years it has been in power, it had made significant contributions to improve the well-being of Nigeria and its people.
“Our party has shown enormous capacity and has achieved significant manifest benefits in national growth drivers such as freedom which is at the heart of civilisation, in terms of free and fair elections which is the live wire of a democracy, and in real infrastructure growth at the federal and in the states under our control. We can only continue to improve,” the statement stated.
It said PDP was the only political party with a strong presence in all the 9,572 electoral wards in Nigeria and would rely on this intimidating membership as well as on credible performance to win the 2015 general elections, “our popularity and acceptability are not in doubt.”
The statement said “in 2011 as in other previous elections, the PDP took its campaign to every nook and cranny of the country where we sold our manifesto to the people while the opposition, who only visualise victory, work less and are ever ready to shout and bay for blood of innocent Nigerians when the PDP wins, campaigned only in their conclave.
“Today, even though we are not campaigning, we have active state, local government and ward chapters which engage in programmes to constantly warm and keep the party alive. Whither the opposition?
“The popularity of the opposition parties exists more on the pages of newspapers and in the imagination of their leaders. The Action Congress of Nigeria, more a tribal association, deep in clique dictatorship and deceit, has no capacity to win any election elsewhere beyond the South-west.
"The CPC, with only one state, is engrossed in hero worship at a time collective heroism is the major propeller of democracy while the ANPP now on clinical oxygenation, has long lost bearing. So, where are the so-called opposition parties that would defeat the PDP in 2015? ”
The PDP said it was not afraid of merger or a mega opposition party as the 2015 elections would be based on concrete issues of credible leadership which the party is pursuing with vigour.
“The PDP is not talking about the 2015 general election for now. We have a mandate and we are bent on delivering on our promises to the people. We have even banned our elected officials from campaigning so that their focus on delivery is not distracted.
"Our efforts and results will campaign for us when the time comes. The stable petroleum products supply, the improved power generation and distribution, the ongoing revitalisation of the moribund rail system, the re-energised and non-discriminate war on corruption, improved road network, among others, will campaign for us.
“With rank incompetence and a regime of sleaze going on in the states controlled by the ACN and with the CPC still a leopard that cannot change its spots, we shall meet in ‘Philippi’ where Nigerians will reward each contending party with defeat or victory,” the statement said.