Party repackaged against opposition
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Tuesday said the election of Chief Anthony Anenih as the Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) and the emergence of Governor Godswill Akpabio, as the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, meant that the party was now repackaged and ready for the opposition political parties in the 2015 elections.
Also, Tukur predicted a two-party system for the coming elections, explaining that with the plans of the opposition political parties to merge into the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigeria is gradually drifting into a two-party democracy.
Speaking with THISDAY on the implication of the emergence of Anenih as PDP BoT Chairman and Akpabio as the chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum, Tukur said: “It then means that the PDP is a repackaged political party to really face all the challenges ahead of the party as the 2015 draws nearer.
“With a repackaged PDP as you can now see, the implication is that it will enable us to mobilise our members ahead of the 2015 general elections and and win. No doubt, with Anenih as the Chairman of our party’s BoT, Apkabio as the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and I as the national chairman, definitely the sky is our limit,” the national chairman of PDP stated.
Still speaking on the repackaged PDP, Tukur further said, “We know we have the capacity and we have done it before and there is the track record to show for it. Go to Akwa Ibom State and see what Akpabio is doing and how he has moved the state to greater heights and you know the attributes of Anenih as a workaholic and he has done so before as both a member of the BoT and a former BoT chairman. His records speak volumes of his successes in party administration and working for PDP victory.”
Accordingly, Tukur said: “With all of us, we shall take the party back to the grassroots, because the PDP is truly a people’s party, where seven out of ten Nigerians are members of the party. The party needs to be taken back to the people and this is how we intend to win subsequent elections.”
Also commenting on what the repackaged PDP will mean for the opposition political parties, he said: “It is only a strong party that is a challenge to an opposition party. PDP is now repackaged and is back to assume its rightful position.”
On the reconciliatory moves in the party in PDP, the national chairman said: “Most of the people in APC now are original members of the PDP and I can assure that we have commenced talks to bring them back to where they originally belong, which is the PDP. They are coming back, because some of them have told me that their aspirations may not be met in the APC because of the burning ambitions of some individual members.
“They don’t want a party that is being run like a cult. They are gradually commencing a return to the PDP, because the PDP is the only national party in Nigeria. Three of us (Tukur, Akpabio and Anenih) will put our heads together and make PDP move ahead and remain formidable to face the opposition party called the APC,” he said.
But aside the acclaimed task of strategising to tackle the challenge that the APC may pose, the newly-appointed Chairman of PDP Governors’ forum has said his mission is to identify the Judas (es) in the PDP.
He also took a swipe at the opposition parties which have coalesced into the All Progressives Congress (APC), stating that there is no headache with the PDP and therefore, “Nigerians will not take any APC as APC is an outdated drug.
What Nigerians want at this moment is panadol and PDP is panadol. The PDP is not in a hurry to leave the control of the federal government.”
According to Akpabio, “In the past there was no global warming and HIV Aids. There was no need for PDP Governors Forum because we were totally in-charge, but today PDP is facing challenges. PDP is fighting itself. There was a time PDP was having 27 governors.”
He said his mission is to stop PDP from self exploding, saying, “we are to identify the Judases in the party and cleanse it out,” stressing that if Jesus Christ had had more than one Judas among his disciples, His ministry would have been in trouble.
Akpabio said PDP will resist a situation where the minority will like to impose its views on PDP that is in the majority.
“What has happened to PDP is because of self explosion, when there is an explosion, where there is treachery, where there are more Judases than you have disciples, we want to have good disciples, we know that even in Christendom when Jesus Christ had 12 disciples there was one Judas, but if the Judas were up to nine then Jesus could have been in trouble, the gospel would have been in trouble today.
“What the PDP is trying to do now is to cleanse its house, to try to identify the ones they called Judas and whisper it to them and say go out, the train is moving and you cannot stand otherwise we will crush you,” Akpabio said.
Akpabio also said the new PDP forum is not a trade union that will hold the party to ransom, explaining that most Nigerians are members of PDP and that whatever crisis in the party affects Nigeria.
Akpabio also pledged support for the NWC of the party, saying: “the PDP Governors’ Forum is not above the NWC or the party, but to act as an advisory to party.”
He referred to criticisms over the East West Roads and referred to those criticising the road projects as “sit at home critics.”
Akpabio said the new PDP forum will not weaken the Nigerian Governors’ Forum but to strengthen the forum.
Akpabio dismissed comments by the former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari that PDP is collaborating with INEC and other security agencies to rig election as a side talk, insisting that the former Head of State was misquoted.